San Jose experienced scorching temperatures on May 24, with the Occidental Mindoro town registering a record-breaking heat index of 53°C at 12 noon.
This is the highest heat index recorded by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) since March 1, indicating extreme danger and the imminent risk of heat stroke.
According to meteorological data, San Jose had a dry-bulb temperature of 33.4°C and a relative humidity of 85%. The combination of these factors contributed to the sweltering heat experienced by residents in the area.
Calapan City also faced exceptionally high temperatures, with a recorded high of 44°C at 1 p.m. The city had a dry-bulb temperature of 32.8°C and a relative humidity of 72%.
The heat index, also known as the “feels-like” temperature, takes into account both the temperature and humidity levels to measure the perceived temperature. It serves as an important indicator of the potential risks associated with heat exposure.
Since March 1, San Jose’s recorded heat index of 53 degrees Celsius stands as the highest so far. It was followed by Legazpi City, which recorded a heat index of 50°C on May 12. Virac, Catanduanes ranked third with a heat index of 49°C on May 24.
At temperatures of 52 degrees Celsius and above, the conditions are considered to be of extreme danger. Heat stroke becomes a significant concern in such situations, emphasizing the urgent need for precautionary measures and protection against the scorching heat.
In the range of 42°C to 51°C, there is a danger of heat cramps and heat exhaustion. Prolonged exposure to heat in this range also increases the risk of heat stroke.
Health officials are urging residents to take necessary precautions to safeguard their well-being during this extreme heatwave. They recommend staying hydrated, avoiding direct exposure to the sun during peak hours, and seeking shelter in cool and shaded areas whenever possible.