PAGASA says heat index could rise in coming weeks

With the heat index reaching 50º Celsius at 2PM Saturday, June 4, 2022, the Philippine Atmospherical Geophysical and Astronomical Administration (PAGASA) in Virac said it is possible that the heat index in Catanduanes could rise further in the coming weeks.

“Despite declaration of the start of the rainy season in the Philippines, it is possible that the heat index would still rise in the next few weeks as the eastern portioººn of the country, including Bicol, continues to be affected by the easterlies, kaya mainit pa uya sato,” PAGASA Virac officer-in-charge and senior meteorological forecaster Juan Pantino Jr. told the Tribune.

According to the state weather agency, heat index is a measure of the contribution that high humidity makes with abnormally high temperatures in reducing the body’s ability to cool itself.

Heat index ranging from 42º to 51ºC means heat cramps and heat exhaustion is possible for long exposure and continuous activity under the sun, it added.

There is also a high probability of heat stroke, PAGASA stressed.

Records of the PAGASA Virac Synoptic Station show that from May 25 until June 3, 2022, the island has sizzled under a heat index that stayed between 43º to 49ºC.

The weather station recorded two straight days of 49ºC beginning May 25, with the measurement flirting between 43º to 48º before Saturday’s peak.

At 2PM of June 5, the highest temperature so far of 32.4ºC combined with the 88% humidity to produce a heat index of 50ºC.

This was much higher than the 36ºC predicted by PAGASA in its weekly heat index forecast.

The highest heat index recorded this year in the country was in Dagupan, Pangasinan where it reached 55ºC on May 1.

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