Searing heat over the Kalahari Desert has hiked the temperature to near all-time highs in northwestern South Africa.
The recognized claimant to the nation's all-time high, Vioolsdrif, reached at least 48 C, or 118 F, on Wednesday. This followed Tuesday's high of 45.8 C, or 114 F.
There was still opportunity for the temperature to rise further before topping.
The official high of 48.8 C (120 F) was reached in Vioolsdrif in January 1993, the Wikipedia web page for South Africa indicates.
The Wikipedia page also says that a reading of 51.7 C, or 125 F, was reached in 1948 at Upington, which lies well east of Vioolsdrif. However, this mark is not recognized, given that it was recorded on non-standard equipment.
The setting of Vioolsdrif is favorable for extreme summer heat.
Vioolsdrif lies on river bottom, surrounded by bleak hills and mountains. The rugged Richtersveld walls off the area from cooling Atlantic winds, allowing it bake in blazing summer sun.
The Oranje River here marks the boundary between South Africa and Namibia.
The plum rains are known as "meiyu" in China, the "baiyu" or "tsuyu" in Japan, and the "jangma" in the Koreas. The heart of the plum rain season stretches from early June to mid-July, with a tendency to shift south to north across the affected area.
In the wake of the mid-June cloudbursts, most of Pakistan to northwestern India last week saw a return to dry, hot weather typical of the weeks leading up to the Monsoon onset. It was as if the Monsoon withdrew to its "normal" position for the latter half of June.
The 38.5 degree C (101 degrees F) reading Tuesday in Ajaccio, Corsica, may have been tops in Europe.
Monsoon Onset was June 13th, 2013, in Delhi, almost two weeks earlier than average. The June 15th onset at Karachi and Islamabad was more like three week ahead of schedule.
In Pakistan, hit-or-miss downpours missed the Sindh capital, Karachi. One did hit Pad Idan, where it left 60 mm of rain Wednesday. This was more than 20 times greater than the normal June rainfall.
It is still possible that this scenario is over wrought as to the intensity and spread of rain in Pakistan and northwestern India. However, it is the hunch of the present forecaster that some very unusual weather is going to unfold in the Subcontinent during the next week!