Malawians are on high alert as they face the looming threat of an extreme heatwave, set to push temperatures to a scorching 44°C.
Authorities are urging citizens to exercise caution by avoiding alcohol and caffeine, as these beverages can lead to dehydration in such extreme conditions.
The country’s meteorological service has issued a warning, indicating that while high temperatures are not uncommon for October, they are expected to become both more frequent and severe due to the impacts of climate change.
This dire situation mirrors the intense heatwaves that have plagued regions in North Africa, Europe, the United States, and Mexico in July.
Climate experts are sounding alarms for 2023, predicting it to be a record-setting year for warmth. This unwelcome milestone is attributed to ongoing emissions of warming gases and the influence of El Niño weather events.
The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services in Malawi has released an advisory, cautioning citizens to brace for an extended period of sweltering and uncomfortable weather, which is forecasted to persist until Saturday.
The projected maximum temperatures are a scorching 44°C in the southern Shire Valley and 40°C in northern areas along Lake Malawi.
Yobu Kachiwanda, Malawi’s chief meteorologist, spoke with the BBC, explaining that a continual daily rise in temperatures has culminated in this exceptional heatwave. “The high temperatures are due to direct heat energy from the sun, which is positioned directly above Malawi,” Mr. Kachiwanda stated.
Vulnerable populations, including the elderly, children, and individuals with pre-existing health conditions, are at significant risk of heat-related illnesses when exposed to such extreme conditions over an extended period. The weather bureau has underscored concerns about conditions like heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Source: Africa News