The weather gurus at eNCA have put together a brilliant breakdown as to why we’re experiencing an autumn heatwave. You see, the average maximum temperature for this time of year generally sits at a balmy 24⁰C, but owing to an interesting weather pattern stemming from up north, we’re currently faced with higher-than-normal maximum temps.
Today’s mercury is expected to rise to 30⁰C, and a Tuesday reading from the Molteno Reservoir in Oranjezicht peaked at 33⁰C. Yesterday felt like somewhere in between. So what exactly is causing this heat, at a time of year when we’re supposed to be getting increasingly blessed with cold fronts and passing showers?
The answer is a stagnant upper-level high-pressure system (try saying that five times fast) occurring to the south of the country. As eNCA have reported:
‘A high-pressure system in the upper parts of the atmosphere causes air to sink towards the surface. While rising air cools with height, descending air warms and ultimately causes warmer conditions at the earth’s surface. Under these circumstances, hot and cloud-free conditions occur and may last for days at a time.
The current upper high-pressure system is kept stationary by two cut-off low-pressure systems — the one being south-east of the country and the other to the south-west of Namibia. The low pressure to the south-east is also hindering the ridging of the surface high pressure along the east coast resulting in a week of persistent weather conditions over much of South Africa.’
There we have it, a detailed breakdown about the heatwave. Things are looking up though, and rain is predicted towards the end of April.
Photography Jeremy Bishop / Unsplash