Malawi swelters in record heat with temperatures nearly 20C above average

An African nation has experienced excessive heat, with temperatures as high as 43C, attributed to climate change.

The weekend was the hottest on record for Malawians, with temperatures rising by about 20C beyond the seasonal average.

The government issued advisories last Thursday about staying out of the sun, staying hydrated, and avoiding coffee and alcohol as the heatwave got underway. In certain southern regions of the nation, school buildings were evacuated, forcing students to learn outside under playground trees.

The highest temperature recorded on Saturday in some parts of Malawi was 43C (109F), which was higher than the season’s normal of roughly 25C (77F).

Although the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services in the nation issued an advice last week warning of a “prolonged period of hot and uncomfortable weather” throughout October, the temperatures had decreased by Monday.

In an effort to beat the worst of the heat, Malawi’s Super League football matches had their kickoffs postponed by thirty minutes. During games, players were urged to regularly take water breaks.

In November 2020, Malawi had a temperature of 37C, which was comparable to the heat experienced there. Experts attribute the harsh weather to climate change, noting that 2023 will be the hottest year on record globally.

“There’s still a hot breeze even under the trees,” a teacher at Jombo Community Secondary School in the southern Malawian district of Chikwawa stated. “Despite the extreme discomfort, classes have not been canceled, even though the high temperatures are making it difficult for the students to learn.”

People have followed the weather bureau’s advice to stay hydrated throughout the day, “even if you don’t feel thirsty,” in other parts of the nation.

Additionally, the bureau advised against using caffeine and alcohol since they can dehydrate you. Dress correctly by using sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and wearing light, loose-fitting clothing. Put on sunglasses, hats, and umbrellas.

In addition, even though there haven’t been any reports of an increase in hospital admissions or fatalities, it cautioned about the serious health hazards to vulnerable populations, including the elderly, small children, and individuals with medical issues.

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