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It was hot, but it ‘felt’ even hotter–Pagasa

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A boy sits inside a plastic container as he takes a bath to cool off himself at a Manila suburb on April 7, 2013. While temperatures have been very hot, our bodies actually feel them at much higher levels, that’s why people would be well advised to stay out of the sun in the next few days, the weather bureau said Tuesday, April 30, 2013. AP PHOTO/AARON FAVILA

MANILA, Philippines—While temperatures have been very hot, our bodies actually feel them at much higher levels, that’s why people would be well advised to stay out of the sun in the next few days.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), even though peak temperatures in most places are predicted to remain in the 33-35 degree Celsius range, the “heat index”—the measure of the discomfort caused by heat on the human body—means the effects could be worse.

Based on Pagasa’s five-day forecast, the heat index in Metro Manila will peak at 39.2 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, 38.5 degrees on Thursday and 38.3 degrees on Friday.

The heat index records what the temperature feels like on the body, rather than the actual temperature reading.

Per Pagasa, actual peak temperatures from Wednesday to Friday will range from 33 to 35 degrees Celsius in selected Philippine cities, except Baguio City where the peak temperature will be 26-27 degrees Celsius. In the summer capital, the heat index is expected to be a cooler 25.8 to 26.3 degrees from Wednesday to Friday.

In Laoag and Tuguegarao cities, the heat index is expected to range between 39.2 and 39.6 degrees in the same period.

People should exercise “extreme caution” when the heat index is between 32 and 41 degrees Celsius, according to Pagasa.

Among the possible effects on the body are heat cramps and muscle spasms resulting from the loss of salt and water, and heat exhaustion.

“Continuing activity could result in heat stroke,” said Pagasa.

A higher heat index of 41-54 degrees Celsius is considered dangerous and would likely cause heat cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke with continued activity, the weather bureau said.

An index of over 54 degrees means “extreme danger” and indicates that heat stroke is imminent, it added.

Pagasa’s outlook for Wednesday is sunny in Metro Manila and most of Luzon due to the ridge of a high-pressure area extending across Luzon.


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