According to Abdul Rashid, Director Regional Meteorological Centre, “There is no one definition of heatwave.” The word itself is defined in multiple terms, for example, in some countries heatwave is known as a prolonged period of excessively hot weather relative to the expected conditions of the area at that time of year. Whereas, often the word is used to explain that the weather is accompanied with high humidity.
Nonetheless, if the temperature rises more than the usual, the weather we see today may very well be on towards a possible heatwave.
“Because of the fiasco that unfolded in 2015, we are being cautious and calling Friday’s weather a heatwave to warn people to remain extra careful,” Rashid said. “People should avoid going outside unless absolutely necessary and take all precautions,” he added.
When the body experiences a heatstroke, body’s temperature-regulating mechanism fails.
NOTE: A person suffering from heatstroke requires immediate professional medical attention.
However, people can avoid falling ill in the upcoming extreme weather conditions by:
- Wearing loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Excess, dark or tight clothing holds in heat and doesn’t let your body cool properly because it inhibits sweat evaporation.
- Avoid sunburn. If you’re going to be outdoors, wear a lightweight, wide-brimmed hat or use an umbrella to protect yourself from the sun, and apply sunscreen to any exposed skin. Having sunburn reduces your body’s ability to rid itself of heat.
- Seek a cooler place. If you don’t have access to a place with an air-conditioner, find a well-shaded spot. Fans alone aren’t adequate to counter high heat and humidity.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.
- Take extra precautions with certain medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether the medications you take make you more susceptible to heat exhaustion and, if so, what you can do to keep your body from overheating.
- Avoid hot spots. On a hot day, the temperature in your parked car can rise up to 11C in just 10 minutes. Let your car cool off before you drive it.
- It’s best not to do any strenuous activity in hot weather, but if you must, follow the same precautions and rest frequently in a cool spot. Taking breaks and replenishing your fluids during that time will help your body regulate your temperature.