The National Environment Agency (NEA) clarified yesterday (Mar 17) that the Whatsapp message circulating, claiming that temperatures in Singapore will hit 40ºC in the next five days is false.
In a statement NEA said: “NEA is aware of a message circulating via text messaging and social media platforms which claims that temperatures are expected to soar to 40 deg C in the coming days, resulting in a possible heatwave leading to dehydration and sun stroke. These claims are untrue.”
NEA confirmed that the unusually warm weather is indeed due to the equinox, but that the temperature will “range between 33 deg C and 34 deg C, and could reach a high of around 36 deg C on a few days.”
A website which forecasts weather has confirmed that the temperature tomorrow will be at 35ºC, but that it is going to feel like it’s actually 40ºC.
And if you think that’s bad, they forecast that Sunday is going to be even worst. The actual temperature may be 37ºC, but it’s going to feel like it is 41ºC on Sunday afternoon.
Singapore’s Meteorological Services Department confirms that the the temperatures over the weekend are going to be bad – with a high of 35ºC. But it does not say what the ‘feel like’ temperature is.
What is a ‘feel like’ temperature? This is how the United Kingdom’s Meteorological Services Department describes it:
“We calculate a ‘feels like temperature by taking into account the expected air temperature, relative humidity and the strength of the wind at around 5 feet (the typical height of an human face) combined with our understanding of how heat is lost from the human body during cold and windy days.
On windy days the speed of moisture evaporation from your skin increases and serves to move heat away from your body making it feel colder than it actually is. The exception to this rule, however, is when higher temperatures are concerned. At higher temperatures, wind chill is considered far less significant. Instead humidity plays a greater role. When a human being perspires, the water in his or her sweat evaporates. This results in the cooling of the body as heat is carried away from it. When humidity is high, the rate of evaporation and cooling is reduced, resulting in it feeling hotter than it actually is.
Using these facts we use a formula to adjust the air temperature based on our understanding of wind chill at lower temperatures, heat index at higher temperatures and a combination of the two in between.”
So, if you have to go out in the afternoon in the weekend, follow the Ministry of Health’s advice:
a. Wear loose-fitting, heat permeable and light coloured clothing
b. Drink fluids to stay hydrated
c. Take more breaks between activities
d. Reduce outdoor activities during the hottest time of the day or stay in the shade
e. Sponge with cool or ice water
f. Plan your sport and exercise activity in the cooler hours of the day
g. Watch for early symptoms of heat-induced illness and seek medical attention if the condition persists or worsens