Photographer: Themba Hadebe/AP

Record Heat Forecast in South Africa as Dam Levels Decline

  • Johannesburg expected to reach 38 degrees Celsius Thursday
  • Country is in grip of most severe drought since 1992

A heatwave in South Africa is intensifying, with record temperatures expected in Johannesburg, causing dam levels to drop as the country experiences its most severe drought since 1992.

The temperature in the country’s biggest city was forecast to reach a high of 37 degrees Celsius Wednesday and 38 degrees Thursday, according to the South African Weather Service. The hottest day ever recorded in Johannesburg was Nov. 11 last year when the temperature reached 36.5 degrees, according to the service.

Weather stations in 24 locations across the country, including Bloemfontein in the Free State, posted record-high temperatures Tuesday.

Even with water restrictions in place across most of the country, South African dams were only 57 percent full in the week ended Jan. 4, compared with 82 percent a year earlier, Department of Water Affairs data show.

Pretoria, the capital, will experience 41-degree heat Thursday, according to the weather service. That would equal the city’s highest-recorded temperature. Rain and lower temperatures are predicted for both Pretoria and Johannesburg by the weekend.

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