Heatwave forecast across much of Botswana and Namibia through at least Oct. 30. Localized transport and utility disruptions possible.
Forecast models indicate that a heatwave will persist across much of Botswana and Namibia through at least Oct. 30. The Department of Meteorological Services in Botswana has issued a heatwave warning across the country through at least Oct. 27. Maximum temperatures of 39-42 C (102-108 F) are forecast over parts of Central, Chobe, Ghanzi, Ngamiland, and North-East districts and 36-40 C (97-104 F) across much of the rest of the country. Namibia’s Meteorological Service has warned that a heatwave will persist over much of the interior of the country through at least Oct. 30, with the exception of southern interior regions where a slight cooling is forecast from Oct. 27. Maximum temperatures of 36-40 C (97-104 F) are forecast across much of the central and northern interior of the country Oct. 26-28. Authorities will likely issue new warnings or update/rescind existing advisories as weather conditions change over the coming days.
The extended period of very high temperatures and dry conditions may increase the potential for wildfires throughout the region. The high temperatures may result in drought conditions in the country. Authorities may implement water rationing, restricting water supply when necessary; they may also prohibit the use of potable water to irrigate green spaces or limit water withdrawal from wells, springs, or waterways.
Heatwaves pose a health threat to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children, pregnant women, and those with respiratory illnesses, due to the increased possibility of heat stroke or heat exhaustion during prolonged exposure to high temperatures. These risks could also extend to relatively healthy individuals during significant heatwave events. In addition to significantly impacting athletes and those who work outdoors, high temperatures can cause problems for people using mass transit. Some passengers may require hospitalization for dehydration due to the lack of air conditioning and cramped vehicles during rush hour.
Overheated vehicles could prompt traffic disruptions in urban areas where congestion is already a problem. Commercial trucking disruptions might occur, as very high temperatures put more stress on vehicles and make tire blowouts more common. Major flight disruptions are unlikely at regional airports, but general aviation disruptions are possible, and some airfreight carriers could reduce cargo loads. High temperatures could lead to an increased demand for electricity, which might trigger localized brownouts or blackouts, exacerbating hazardous conditions when air conditioning is no longer possible.
Monitor local media for weather updates and related advisories. Consider remaining indoors in air conditioning when possible, particularly if operating in one of the worst-affected regions. If outdoor activities are necessary, frequently rest in shaded areas; avoid activity during the hottest times of the day. Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, which are dehydrating. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Cotton fabrics are more cooling than synthetics. Promptly seek medical attention if signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke develop. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged electricity outages occur.
Source : Crisis24