IT USED to be that people talk about the weather as an ice breaker between strangers. Weather is a neutral, non-controversial topic.
Not anymore. In my case, I’d go for the ice to break the heat. Who wouldn’t?
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services agency, the heat index is a measure of human discomfort that gives the “apparent” temperature or what human perceive or feel as the temperature affecting their body.
At 32 – 41°C, PAGASA warns to exercise extreme caution of heat cramps and heat exhaustion. Continuing activity could result heat stroke.
At 41 – 54°C, the state weather agency flashes the Danger sign that heat cramps and heat exhaustion are likely; heat stroke from continued activity.
Over 54°C, PAGASA goes for the red alert that Extreme Danger heat stroke is imminent
Last week, the Weather Philippines Foundation recorded the highest heat index for 2019: 65.1° C recorded in Dumarao, Capiz at 2:30 PM.
How about this? Over the weekend, PAGASA noted that Daet, Camarines Norte scored 46.1 °C, Ambulong Batangas at 45.2°C and 45.1 °C in Dagupan, Pangasinan.
Here in the island, the hottest at 38.3 °C is in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental.
The heat is a comfort, but not life or health threatening. So long as CENECO ensures continuous electric power, electric fans can do the trick in easing the heat index.
That’s why I can understand Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano who clarified last week that municipal government has not yet released its calamity funds despite the declaration of a State of Calamity in the town due to a dry spell.
Montelibano said about a third, or 30 to 35 percent, of the crops have been damaged by the dry spell.
“But right now we are assessing the situation. We’ll see if there is recovery because of the rains in the past three days. But the damage has been done,” Montelibano said.
Wise decision. The weather forecast for this week provides ground for optimism. The heat index is tolerable with none of the Negrense towns and cities in the danger zone.