Meteorological agency confirms heat wave to hit Ghana with complications
The Ghana Meteorological Agency has confirmed that the excessively hot weather is as a result of a heat wave and will last until next month.
According to the Chief Forecaster at the agency, Kafui Quarshiegah, this is because the sun has just crossed the equator and is directly on the earth’s surface.
With temperatures at 32 degrees celsius even in the mornings, most have wondered what is causing an increase in the sun’s temperature.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Mr. Quarshiegah explained: “Normally around this time of the year, the sun crosses the equator and is perpendicular to the earth’s surface so if you’re on the earth’s surface the sun is just directly on your head.”
He said temperatures might increase hour after hour each day until about 3pm each day, adding that the delays in the rain this year is also causing an increase in the sun’s temperature.
“Unfortunately for us around April we should have the clouds which will be preventing some of the heat from the sun but this year, we are not having the clouds as it should be. So we are having a deficit in the rainfall, which is causing the clouds to despair and the sun is still heating up which is causing the heat wave.”
He added, “We are just hoping that by May 10 to 20, we will start seeing some rains coming in so where the clouds will start building up we will have a shade of the sun and therefore, temperatures will go down.”
He advised that people should avoid walking in the sun during the day, take a lot of water to prevent dehydration.
“If you are even a farmer at least work for some time, when the sun is at its peak you just move out, let the sun go down then you come back to the farm but don’t work throughout the period in the sun. Get some shade, hide under it and save yourself some environmental conditions,” he stressed.
The extreme weather condition usually deadly, occurs in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the U.S. Brutal heat has literally melted roads, ignited forest fires and affected millions around the planet.
Heat related illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting) and heat rush.
Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat-related illness and requires immediate medical attention.
Certain individuals, such as the elderly, infants and young children, the obese, outdoor workers, and those with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for developing heat-related illnesses.
Signs and symptoms of heat-related illness vary based on the condition but may include an elevated body temperature, headache, nausea, weakness, dizziness, fainting, muscle cramps, seizures, confusion and coma.
How to handle heat wave
The following steps can help you keep cool during a heat wave even if you have an air-conditioned home or office:
1. Take advantage of the cooling power of water. Fill buckets or basins and soak your feet. Take cool showers or baths, and consider using a spray bottle filled with cold water for refreshing spritzes throughout the day.
2. Wearing appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
3.Eliminate extra sources of heat. Incandescent light bulbs can generate unnecessary heat as can computers or appliances left running. Eat fresh foods that do not require you to use the oven or stove to prepare.
4.Remember to maintain an adequate level of hydration, which means you'll need to consume more water than you usually do when it's hot. If you're sweating profusely, you will also need to replace electrolytes by eating a small amount of food with your water or by drinking specially formulated electrolyte replacement drinks. Thirst is the first sign of dehydration; you should drink sufficient amounts of fluids before you feel thirsty in order to prevent dehydration.
5.Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine, as both of these substances, can act as diuretics and promote dehydration.
6.Try to visit public buildings with air conditioning during the hottest hours of the day if the heat becomes unbearable. Libraries, shopping malls, and movie theatres can all be good places to cool down.
7.Don't eat large, protein-rich meals that can increase metabolic heat and warm the body.
8.Be able to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and true heat emergencies (heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion, heat stroke).