There is no one single thing that can be pinpointed as the cause of heat waves, or extreme heat, that happens anywhere in the world. In order to be called a heat wave there has to be a sudden and prolonged rise in the average temperature of an area, measured by comparing to the average temperature over the years.
What causes heat waves
One thing that usually goes along with heat waves is high humidity. That’s because heat causes water to quickly evaporate, causing high humidity. This high humidity can make a heat wave worse, because it makes it feel hotter than it is. Read more here.
The mark of a heat wave in the US happens when the temperature is between 40 and 44 degrees Celsius. When the local weatherperson says that there is going to be excessive heat in the near future, it generally happens within 1-3 days.
How you can prepare yourself
If there is going to be a heat wave, there are some things that you need to do to protect yourself. One is to limit your exposure to direct sunlight and try to avoid going out in the hottest time of the day. If you have to be out in it, if you have to work outside, for example, make sure that there is someone else around, just in case the worst case scenario happens.
It is important for you to remember that the longer you are exposed to the sun when there is a heat wave on, the higher your risk of suffering some heat related illness. That can include muscle cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
Take the following steps
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You need to keep yourself and your family safe during times of excessive heat. If you follow these steps, you can make sure that everyone comes out of the heat wave healthy.
1. If you live in a warm area and you have air conditioning, you need to make sure that the insulation around the air conditioner and the insulation in your house is in good shape.
Bad insulation means that it can get hot inside your house, which makes your air conditioner work harder.
2. Install weatherstripping on all entrances and exits.
3. Windows that face the sun let radiant heating happen. Cover them with heavy drapes to stop that.
4. Keep your storm windows open so that you can get the right air circulation.
5. Stay updated. You can watch or listen to the news to keep track of the heat. You can also get a weather app for your Android or iOS device and check it frequently.
6. If you get overheated, you can take quick, frequent, cool showers throughout the day. That will help keep your core body temperature down.
If you want to go out, try to go out to places that are air conditioned.
While no one knows what is the exact cause of heat waves, you can learn to live with them safely.