The December Heatwave that sweeps the country

Posted by Collen on Mon December 7, 2015 in Responsible Tourism & Environmental News.

Many of us are aware of this sudden Heatwave that’s swept the country in the last couple of days, let us highlight some facts about this phenomena.

Simply put, a heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity. This excessive heat is determined by Heat Index Values as per the weather services. The heat index, also known as the apparent temperature, is what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature. This refers to the heated air that you feel when outside.

Apart from this above scientific explanation, the reality is you must protect yourself from this in all possible ways. If your pet stays outdoors during extreme heat, make sure they have cold water and an area out of the sun where they can cool off. For pets, spending time in a hot car can be super dangerous, so make sure you hang signs to remind pet owners not to leave their furry friends in hot cars.  For humans though, an Extreme heatwave like this can cause cramps, swelling, and fainting. Heat waves are known kill more people than other natural disasters such as floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes, especially in America. Another thing to take into consideration is that the fact that young children and adults over the age of 65 are most likely to experience heat exhaustion or other heat-related illness, so make sure you protect the little ones and the elderly.

If you stay in big cities like Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town and even Pretoria or any major suburban area, you are more likely experience higher temperatures during the summer, this phenomena can be referred to as “Urban Heat Island.” In Geographical terms. This is due to buildings, roads, and other infrastructures absorbing solar energy, resulting in higher temperatures. Additionally Heat waves can cause blackouts and power outages, especially in areas that experience the urban heat island effect. To stay hydrated during a heat wave, drink plenty of water and eat a salty snack to help replace the salt the body loses when it sweats.




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