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Last updated date: 28th Feb 2024
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Introduction to Heatwave Meteorology

A heatwave is a wave that occurs when the weather temperature is usually hot and prolonged compared to the normal day's expected heat. Heatwaves may extend up to several days and weeks and the crucial causes of weather-related mortality, affecting both developing and developed countries at the same time. The heatwave meteorology research states that heat waves occur when the daily maximum temperature for more than five continuous days exceeds the maximum temperature by 9 degrees Fahrenheit.


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Intensity and Frequency of Heatwaves

All around the world, the intensity and frequency of heatwaves are keenly observed with the occurring climatic changes. Such weather circumstances may be characterized by low or high humidity; it may cause aggravate drought, health effects of heat-related stress, including dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.


Impact of Heatwaves on Environment

Heat Waves can be very dangerous and harmful if people are not prepared for disastrous circumstances. According to the weather forecast heatwave met office, records were broken of over 8000 temperatures in July 2012 in the United States, giving rise to the number of deaths due to the heatwaves. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) evaluated that in the year between 2000 and 2016, numerous public exposure to the heatwaves has been increased to 125 million people. In 2003, the heatwave destroyed a maximum of 70,000 people. Lastly, in the year 2010 in Russian Federation, 40,000 people were killed due to the heatwave.

Heatwaves also give rise to health effects that can sometimes be untreatable, and it is discussed below:

A.   Mortality

Heatwave is not an issue because it affects global warming, but it is problematic from a mortality point of view. As the mortality rate rapidly increases with experiencing the heatwaves, it will worsen as the heatwave gets more extreme. Some studies state that the winter milder condition will minimize the mortality rates, resulting in a balance or even a decreasing number of deaths.

Agency for health care research and quality reports that 6,200 Americans are admitted into the hospitals each summer due to the excessive heat waves. It is intolerable for elderly persons, and in the year 2003, Europeans lost 70,000 people due to the heatwave.

B.   Power Breakdown:

Electricity spike is the other issue caused due to heatwaves. The excessive usage of air conditioners can create a power breakdown, aggravating the problem. The electricity demand is due to the hot and humid temperatures, which are sometimes intolerable at their peaks. When the heatwaves keep extending for more than three days or more, the thermal mass of the buildings detains the heat from the previous days and prevents the nighttime temperature from cooling down. As a result of more air usage, conditioner leads to high electricity consumption causing the electricity outage.


What Causes a Heatwave?

Heatwaves are the result of the surrounding air. Usually, air surrounds the globe in large persuading winds; therefore, it is permitted to warm the atypical temperatures due to sunlight if surrounded by one region. Often the air is surrounded due to high-pressure systems. These systems compel the air downwards, in effect acting as a large-cap. The air is being surrounded and covered. It cannot rise into the cooler upper temperature, which further prevents the dropping rainfall.


How to Stay Safe At Heatwave Meteorology Circumstances

  • Drink an enormous amount of water during a heatwave

  • Do not stay in a car for a prolonged time unless it has an air conditioner working in it.

  • To wear appropriate clothes.

  • Do not expose much to the sun. Avoid taking sunbathes as sunburn makes it difficult for the public to cool off.

  • Heatwaves are dangerously unsafe and risk to the people with more population.

  • Heatwaves are not credited to the same hazardous level as cyclones and tornadoes. Due to the lack of precaution, many underestimate its effects and aggravate the problem. It is especially a risk to the public having susceptible to pre-existing conditions.

FAQs on Heatwave

1. What are the Sociological and Psychological Effects of Heatwave Meteorology?

Answer: Extreme heat waves not only cause physical stress to people but it has harmful effects on mental and psychological stress additionally. These mentally disturbed circumstances give rise to violent crimes, affecting and initiating conflict at both societal and interpersonal levels. 

As the temperatures get high, the crime rates also increase, including murder, assault, etc. Whereas, in politically unbalanced countries, high temperatures are a provoking factor leading to civil wars. According to the study, United States research shows that heat waves also affects a significant income of a person as the economic productivity gets diminished by about 1.7% .

2. How Does Climate Change Affect Heatwave?

Answer: Due to heatwave, the global climatic changes take place at both increased intensities and frequencies. Commonly people are likely to experience summers as warmer weather and winters milder. Natural variance plays a vital role in extreme climate and weather changes, affecting the natural limits provoking heat waves to be more intense and frequent.

According to the weather forecast heatwave met office, the National Climatic Data Center states that from January 1 to June 18 of the year, 2012 new high-temperature records exceeded the number of cold records across the United States.

Climate change shifts the turn to the hotter side, moving the average over. Additionally, climate change compresses the curve, which offers a huge spread of circumstances and an increase in variability. The fusion provides for an increase in the level of recording hot weather.

It is studied that 80 percent of monthly heat records occur because of human-caused climate change. The record-breaking hot, humid months take place five times more often than anticipated without global warming. With the continuing climate change, these heatwave circumstances are likely to be increased with the specific risk in some crucial food-producing regions. So the people should observe the climatic changes that occur due to heatwaves and do not underestimate their effects, and take the necessary precautions.