As the Meteorology Department predicts extreme heat conditions in five dry zone districts due to the easing of the La Nina effect, health officials warn people not to stay in the hot sun for too long. Met officials said Sri Lanka was going through mixed weather conditions with some parts of the country coming under [...]

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Hot weather warning issued as La Nina withdraws

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As the Meteorology Department predicts extreme heat conditions in five dry zone districts due to the easing of the La Nina effect, health officials warn people not to stay in the hot sun for too long.

Met officials said Sri Lanka was going through mixed weather conditions with some parts of the country coming under hot weather, pushing the mercury up beyond 35.7 degrees Celsius, while other parts of the country were experiencing fair weather or evening thunder showers.

The districts to which severe hot weather warnings have been issued are Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Ampara, Monaragala and Hambantota.

Except for evening thunderstorms in the Sabaragamuwa, Central and Uva provinces, mainly fair weather would prevail over the island, the official said, adding that misty conditions could be expected in parts of the Central, Sabaragamuwa and Western Provinces in the morning.

Explaining the current weather pattern, Met Dept official Shiromani Jayawardena said, “Due to the La-Nina condition, we are experiencing less heat. But with the La Nina effect easing, the temperature is expected to rise. La Nina is a weather pattern that occurs in the Pacific Ocean. In this pattern, strong winds blow warm water at the ocean’s surface from South America to Indonesia.”

She said the warnings were being issued based on the heat index, which takes into account the temperature felt by the human body, the humidity and the air temperature.

She said the situation could change with the onset of the Southwest monsoon.

Meteorological Department Director General Athula Karunanayake said the current weather pattern would continue until April 14. “We advise the people to remain indoors as much as possible,” he said.

Consultant Community Physician Dr Inoka Suraweera, who is attached to the Health Ministry’s Environmental and Occupational Health Directorate, said young children, the elderly and those suffering from chronic illnesses are the most vulnerable to face the adverse effects of the extreme weather.

They should drink plenty of water — at least two litres a day – and avoid the exposure to the sun between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Her other instructions are: Limit activities to early morning and evening. People should wear loose and light-coloured clothes. Those who have non communicable disease must not neglect their medication. To reduce the body heat, cold water shower is recommended. Workers who are exposed to the sun need to wear hats. Carry an umbrella if you are required to go out in the sun.

“People should not ignore these instructions, especially in view of the COVID situation. What is recommended is to stay indoors as much as possible,” she said.

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