Heat index at ‘extreme caution’ level for several provinces

ECONOMYNEXT – The heat index, or temperature felt by the human body, has reached an ‘extreme caution’ level in several provinces and districts, the Department of Meteorology said today.

The heat index, also known as felt air temperature and is often displayed as “feels like”, combines air temperature and relative humidity.

According to the Met Department, the heat index is at ‘extreme caution’ level in the North-Western, Western, Sabaragamuwa and Southern provinces and in the Mannar and Monaragala districts.

Duty Meteorologist Darshana Premathilake told EconomyNext today that the rise in temperature experienced at present is a result of the sun shining directly above Sri Lanka this time of year.

“The situation is likely to continue until mid-April. However, we are expecting the first inter monsoons in early April, after which the high temperatures are likely to go down,” he added.

At present, high temperatures will continue with slight changes, said Premathilake. Changes in wind patterns will also cause changes in temperature levels.

The Met Department requests the public to take necessary precautionary methods as heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible due to high temperatures. Continuously engaging in outdoor activities might also cause heat strokes.

Meanwhile, Disaster Management Centre (DMC) Assistant Director Pradeep Kodippili said that a number of forest fires have also been reported due to the prevalent dry weather.

“In three months, 129 cases of wildfire have been reported. We are taking steps to raise awareness among the general public of the situation. Most of these wildfires were caused as a result of people setting forests on fire,” Koddippili told EconomyNext.

“More than 55,000 people have been affected due to drought conditions prevailing in several provinces as well. Authorities have taken measures to supply water to these areas with bowsers,” he added. (Colombo/Mar5/2020)

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