Heat index soars to record 51°C
A HEAT index record was set for the second time in less than two weeks as summer temperatures soared amid the lingering El Niño.
The heat index—the actual temperature felt by the body based on air temperature and humidity—touched a dangerous 51 degrees Celsius in Nueva Ecija on Monday.
This was the highest heat index so far since the onset of the dry season in March, surpassing the previous record of 49.4 degrees Celsius set in Occidental Mindoro on April 2.
The heat index of 51 degrees Celsius is just three degrees below what the weather bureau considers the “extreme danger” level when heatstroke is imminent.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) warned the country would continue to experience “generally warmer than average” temperatures in April.
On Monday, 14 of Pagasa’s 53 weather stations around the country recorded a maximum heat index of at least 41 degrees Celsius, considered the “danger” level when heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke are possible with continued activity under the sun.
In 36 other weather stations, including in Metro Manila, the maximum heat index ranged from 32 to 41 degrees, which Pagasa said called for “extreme caution” against heat-related illnesses.
Pagasa considers a heat index of 54 degrees Celsius the “extreme danger” level.
Pagasa’s five-day forecast for select cities showed the highest heat index would be felt at nearly 38 degrees Celsius in Tuguegarao City this week.
In Metro Manila, the heat index is forecast to range from 37.9 to 38.6 degrees Celsius.
The heat index is also called the human discomfort index.
The 14 weather stations where the heat index reached the danger level on Monday were in Cabanatuan City, 51 degrees; Clark, Pampanga, 48.9 degrees; Ambulong, Batangas, 46.4 degrees; Butuan City, 44.6 degrees; Catbalogan, Western Samar, 45.5 degrees; Cotabato City, 41.8 degrees; Davao City, 43.7 degrees.
General Santos City, 43.9 degrees; Guiuan, Eastern Samar, 42.3 degrees; Iba, Zambales, 41.2 degrees; Maasin, Southern Leyte, 43.8 degrees; Roxas City, 44.4 degrees; San Jose City, 45.7 degrees; and Sangley Point, Cavite, 48.9 degrees.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.