Scorchio: Expect Temperatures of up to 48 Degrees this Week

The weather is due to go up to the late 40s this week, but the humidity makes the heat seem ten times hotter.

This week around the UAE the temperature has soared to close to 50-degrees C – yet it feels even hotter even at lower temperatures as soon as you step outside of the air-conditioned cool. This is because of something called the ‘heat index’ (also known as the ‘discomfort index’) and here’s why this is.

According to the UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology, an expert explained that as the temperatures are high across the UAE this month, the heat index or the “feeling temperature” might be higher, depending on the relative humidity.

He said: “Whenever the Relative Humidity (RH) increases, the ‘feeling temperature’ seems higher. The ratio of RH is important in calculating the comfort index, or the temperature felt by the human body when outdoors. For example, if the official temperature reading is 40°C and the RH is 20 percent, outdoor temperature will feel 40°C. However, if RH is 65 or 75 per cent, the outdoor temperature will feel like 45°C or more.”

He added that Relative Humidity will be 50 to 90 per cent by evening today, especially in the coastal areas. Based on today’s RH conditions, the heat index is higher by seven to nine degrees.

The heat index means that when your body gets too hot, it begins to perspire or sweat to try and cool itself off, but when this perspiration evaporates it reduces your body temperature. However, due to the high levels of humidity in the air, the moisture struggles to evaporate, rendering the cooling process much less effective. 

In other words, you feel hotter because of the humidity! Likewise the body feels cooler despite the heat in more arid conditions. The NCM expert added that the heat index also changes depending on other factors, such as wind speed and air mist. He explained that on days when temperatures are high but the weather is windy, it might not feel as hot.

Time to venture out to cooler climates or get a pool day booked, pronto!

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