Auxilia Katongomara Chronicle Reporter—
INTENSE heat is expected today as the country continues to be under the spell of a heatwave. People have been advised to drink a lot of water and to avoid prolonged stay under the sun during the time of the high temperatures. Temperatures have soared to a maximum of between 40 and 43 degrees Celsius since Wednesday.
In a statement, the Meteorological Department warned of an unprecedented heatwave.
“Temperatures are expected to reach maximums of between 40°C and 43°C on Friday. However, the heatwave is expected to ease and see temperatures dropping slightly by about two degrees Celsius over most parts of the country from Saturday January 9, 2016, onward,” said the Met department.
The department also warned that isolated thunderstorms are expected in some areas. It advised members of the public to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from the adverse weather conditions.
“The public is advised to drink more water regardless of your activity level, avoid prolonged stay under the sun, and if at all possible stay under the shade. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat or umbrella,” said the department.
The weather forecasters said they would keep monitoring the conditions and update the public accordingly. Last year the country experienced scorching heat which broke records set 60 years ago.
The Met department said temperatures recorded so far averaged between 33 and 43 degrees Celsius nationwide, while the highest temperatures documented in the past 60 years ranged between 35 and 41 degrees Celsius.
In 1955, West Nicholson recorded high temperatures of 42,4 degrees Celsius while 42,5 degrees Celsius were documented in the area in November last year.
The prevailing dry spell is projected to continue until mid-month, according to the Met department. The erratic rainfall pattern has dampened hopes for a good 2015-16 cropping season.
Crops in most areas have wilted due to moisture stress while many communities, mainly in the southern parts of the country have not yet planted. Normal to below normal rains are expected countrywide.