Heatwave to hit Malawi this weekend

Pyxus Farm in Madisi in Malawi

The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) says hot weather is expected to persist in most areas for three days, starting today.

Daytime maximum temperatures are forecasted to rise significantly from today Saturday, 9 December to Tuesday, 12 December 2023.

In the Shire Valley, temperatures will exceed 42°C which is 7 degrees more than average while in the southern highlands temperatures will exceed 35°C which is 6 degrees more than average.

Meanwhile, people in the country have been advised to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, even if they don’t feel thirsty.

DCCMS has also urged people to avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can cause dehydration, and to stay in air-conditioned buildings or use fans to cool down.

“Wear light, loose-fitting clothing, and use sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful sunlight.

“Check on vulnerable relatives: Ensure that the elderly and sick family members are coping with the heat,” says the department.

According to DCCMS, prolonged exposure to extreme heat can pose serious health risks, especially to vulnerable people, such as the elderly, young children, and those with pre-existing health conditions. Heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heatstroke are a significant concern.

The heatwave is coming as Malawi is also experiencing a dry spell at a time when the rainy season was expected to be in full swing.