Cebuanos told: Brace for 'extreme caution' heat index in next days

Cebuanos told: Brace for 'extreme caution' heat index in next days
Photo from Yans Baroy

AS APRIL begins, Cebuanos find themselves grappling not with the gentle breezes, but with heat and discomfort.

However, local weather bureau said the region will experience higher heat index in the coming days, categorized under "extreme caution."

Weather specialist Jhomer Eclarino from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Visayas, shared data on Monday, April 1, 2024, indicating that Cebu will endure heat index of up to 38 degrees Celsius until Wednesday, April 3.

The recent forecast raises concerns as it surpasses earlier reports, which had pegged the heat index at a relatively lower 36 or 37 degrees Celsius.

The heat index or “feels-like” temperature combines air temperature and humidity to indicate how hot the weather would feel to the human body.

Eclarino cautions that such elevated heat index figures fall under the extreme caution category.

Earlier reports suggest that under the heat index category, it heightens the risk of heat-related illnesses like cramps, exhaustion, and potentially, heatstroke.

Also based on the data, Cebu is not alone in facing this scorching heat. Surrounding areas in Central Visayas will also experience intense conditions.

Bohol also anticipates a heat index of 38 degrees Celsius, while Siquijor and Negros Oriental may soar as high as 39 degrees Celsius.

With the looming intense heat, residents are urged to take necessary precautions, including staying hydrated, seeking shade, and avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, particularly during peak hours.

Earlier, Regional epidemiologist Dr. Eugenia Mercedes Cañal from the Department of Health Central Visayas has advised the public to adhere to safety measures during the intense heat.

She stressed the importance of avoiding outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., particularly during peak hours when the heat index is at its highest.

Cañal also recommended wearing sunscreen when venturing outdoors and emphasized the importance of staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Meanwhile, SunStar Cebu earlier reported that the heat index in Cebu may reach a "dangerous" 51 degrees Celsius in the coming months.

This level can lead to heat cramps, exhaustion, and possibly heat stroke with continued outdoor activity.

Eclarino attributed the rise in the heat index to the El Niño phenomenon and the ongoing dry hot summer.

He said that historical data shows Cebu typically experiences its highest temperatures in May. On May 31, 2010, also during the El Niño phenomenon, the province recorded surface temperature at 37 degrees Celsius.

It coincided with its highest heat index of 49 degrees Celsius. (KJF)


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