Stay Cool: India’s Summer Heat Reaching Critical Levels

The weather experts in India, called the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), recently said that some areas in West Rajasthan are experiencing very hot weather, which they call a heatwave. But some people are worried that many other places that are also very hot and humid aren’t being counted by the IMD.

The IMD decides if it’s a heatwave based on how hot it gets in different parts of the country: over 40°C in flat areas, 37°C in places near the coast, and 30°C in hilly regions.

To officially call it a heatwave, the temperature has to be at least 4.5°C higher than usual for two days in a row. If it goes above 45°C, it’s automatically called a heatwave, no matter what.

Humidity also makes a big difference in how hot it feels. When it’s humid, our bodies have a hard time cooling down by sweating. There’s a way to measure this called the wet bulb temperature, which combines temperature and humidity. This gives a better idea of how hot it really feels.

Around the world, it’s generally safe if the wet bulb temperature is below 30°C. But if it’s between 30°C and 35°C, it can be dangerous, even deadly, because our bodies can overheat and get seriously sick.

This makes it hard to tell people when it’s really dangerous outside, especially in places where it’s really hot and humid, like tropical areas.

Some studies show that the 35°C limit might not work for everywhere, suggesting that even lower temperatures could be risky in very humid places.

This shows why we need to keep a close eye on how hot and humid it gets in different areas and warn people when it’s dangerous, especially in India, where heatwaves can already be close to the limit of what humans can handle.

Precautions From Heat Waves

Stay Hydrated: Remember to drink enough fluids throughout the day, especially water and drinks with electrolytes, to keep from getting dehydrated. Try to limit how much caffeinated or alcoholic drinks you have since they can make you lose more fluids and increase the risk of dehydration.

Seek Shade: If it’s possible, try to avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day, usually from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you need to be outdoors, find shade whenever you can and wear light, loose-fitting clothes to help you stay comfortable and cool.

Use Sun Protection: Put on wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and use sunscreen with a high SPF to shield your skin from harmful UV rays. Sunburn can harm your skin and make you more prone to heat-related illnesses, so it’s important to protect yourself.

Take Cool Showers: Taking a nice, cool shower or bath can help cool you down and make you feel better in the heat. Just make sure the water isn’t too cold, as it might be a shock to your body.

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