Just last week, we published an article about how you can keep cool without an air conditioner. Given how high the temperature is rising these days, however, I just might disavow everything I wrote there. Phew.
For context, yesterday, Metro Manila’s heat index hit 40.4°C. Good gracious.
What is a Heat Index?
This term refers to how the human body registers temperature amid relative humidity and air temperature. In addition, it’s often higher than the actual air temperature by at least 2-3°C.
On the other hand, heat indices can vary by area. For example, the highest recorded in Manila at 42°C so far, manifested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Furthermore, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) categorizes heat indices according to four levels:
- 27 – 32°C (Caution) – Fatigue is possible with prolonged exposure and activity,so continuous activities could result in heat cramps.
- 32 – 41°C (Extreme Caution) – Continuous activities could result in heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke.
- 41 – 54°C (Danger) – Heat cramps and heat exhaustion are likely, and continuous activity could bring on heat stroke.
- Over 54°C (Extreme Danger) – PAGASA warns of heat stroke at this level.
As per the latest forecast, the Philippines will likely experience warmer weather well into May.
How Other Areas of the Country Are Faring
If you think Metro Manila is hot, Dagupan City in Pangasinan is practically blistering in comparison. Recently, the latest reading pegs its heat index at nearly 52°C. Yikes. That’s just a couple degrees away from Extreme Danger.
To further illustrate, the top five highest heat indices as of this writing are:
- Dagupan City, Pangasinan – 51.7°C
- Cuyo, Palawan – 43.7°C
- San Jose City, Occidental Mindoro – 43.5°C
- Legaspi City, Albay – 42.4°C
- Sangley Point, Cavite – 42.2°C
As a result, authorities have advised the public to drink plenty of water, wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes, and stay out of the sun.
TLDR: Forget about putting ice cubes in front of a fan. Just get a damn AC.