Picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

50 degrees recorded for Vioolsdrif 'not a record breaking temperature'

By Nicola Daniels Time of article published Dec 3, 2019

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Cape Town – The SA Weather Service (Saws) has confirmed that the record-breaking high temperature of 50ºC recorded for Vioolsdrif in the Northern Cape on Friday was, in fact, wrong.

It said investigations into the data from the weather station revealed there was a problem.

“The service publishes a daily weather bulletin that provides weather statistics on a daily basis. This data comes directly from the instrumentation and is not yet quality controlled; therefore it is considered preliminary data,” a Saws statement said.

“A maximum temperature record of 50.1°C for Vioolsdrif on November 28 was reported on Friday (November 29).

“Investigations into the data from the station revealed that the temperature sensor had just been replaced two days prior, and a decision was made to track the behaviour of the station over the weekend. 

"The analysis of this data showed that the behaviour of the temperature sensor was questionable and the preliminary temperature reading of 50.1°C as a new record is therefore invalid,” the service said.

When news first broke about the forecast on Saturday, many expressed shock as 50.1°C would have been the highest recorded temperature worldwide for the month of November.

However, experts quickly expressed scepticism, sparking a debate about the accuracy of the forecast.

French meteorologist Etienne Kapikian tweeted: “@SAWeatherService you need to dismiss yesterday’s 50.1°C at Vioolsdrif. 

"The station is showing obvious unrealistic temperatures and dew points since 28/11. The nearby Namibian station of Noordoewer had temperatures similar to Vioolsdrif’s on 27/11 but then very different on 28/11.”

Cape Times

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