By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The sweltering heat in Metro Manila continued on April 22, Wednesday, with the heat index soaring to 42 degrees Celsius shortly before 2 p.m, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
Although the actual air temperature was lower at 35.2 degrees Celsius than the 35.8 degrees Celsius recorded on April 21, PAGASA said the moisture in the atmosphere was higher on Wednesday, thus the increased humidity.
Heat index, which combines air temperature and relative humidity, is higher by at least 2 to 3 degrees Celsius from the actual air temperature.
The high humidity causes sweat to evaporate slowly, which triggers the body to heat up, PAGASA explained.
Heat factor between 41 and 54 degrees Celsius is considered under dangerous levels, which may cause heat cramps and heat exhaustion, while heat stroke is probable with continued activity.
PAGASA said sudden rains in the afternoon helped ease the warm weather felt on Wednesday.
It is expected that air temperatures across the country may go higher as the hot and dry season progresses.
In 2019, Metro Manila’s hottest temperature was recorded on April 21, at 36.6 degrees Celsius.
PAGASA said warm and humid weather conditions will persist on April 23, Thursday, as the ridge of high pressure area and easterly winds remain the dominant weather systems across the country.
Based on PAGASA data, the hottest days in Philippine history were on April 22, 1912 and May 11, 1969, both recorded in Tuguegarao City, with an air temperature reaching 42.2 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, the hottest day in Metro Manila was on May 14, 1987, with a registered air temperature of 38.5 degrees Celsius.