My immediate reaction to the BBC’s latest news update was to have a little giggle followed by a, “naaaw how adorable…”. The UK have a “Heat-Health Watch” the BBC displays in the summer months. Here’s an excerpt from the Swansea website:
It operates from 1st June to 15th September each year. During this period, the Met Office will alert a number of organisations including the Local Authority and medical professionals about the potential for extreme hot weather.
The “Heat-Health watch” system comprises four levels of response. It is based on threshold day and night-time temperatures as defined by the Met Office. The threshold is 30 degrees C by day and 15 degrees C overnight. These temperatures could have significant effect on health if reached on at least two consecutive days and the intervening night.
There are four different levels of response:
Level 1 – Awareness – the minimum state of vigilance during the summer. The majority of the time the risk of the heat wave will be less than 50%. However, when the risk exceeds 50% this will be indicated by “Level 1 – Awareness – Increased Risk”.
Level 2 – Alert – triggered as soon as the risk is 80% or above for threshold temperatures being reached in one or more regions on at least two consecutive nights.
Level 3 – Heat wave– triggered as soon as the Met Office confirms threshold temperatures will be reached in one or more regions.
Level 4 – Emergency– reached when a heat wave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system.
A series of factsheets are available on the Chief Medical Officer website (www.cmo.wales.gov.uk) to inform and advise on the risks and measures that can be taken to reduce health consequences of extreme heat and heat waves.
Advice can also be obtained from NHS Direct at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
As of this morning we are at level 2: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/heathealth/index.html.
Here’s a news article on the predicted “heat wave”: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20090626/tuk-sunny-britain-braced-for-heatwave-6323e80.html
THIRTY DEGREES! NO REALLY? THIRTY DEGREES!
Victoria had a “heatwave” during Australia’s last summer and had temp’s sitting around 45 to 47 degrees for days! That’s what I would call a heatwave.
In 2004 I recall a good week and a half of 40+ weather in Brisbane/Ipswich. I remember it quite vividly having been a beached whale hanging out on the couch 36 weeks pregnant feeling very sorry for myself.
I love listening to the weather reports and noting their inflection when they say things like, “We may even see temperature’s reach as high as 33 degrees CELSIUS by the end of the week”. They say it like it is shocking news and I can’t help but giggle. They even say “Celsius” bit forceful inflection. Just to make sure the viewing public are understanding that they don’t infact mean farenheit and it will be blooming hot this week. They then with a very serius look on their face said, “People are reminded to drink plenty of water and stay out of the sun”.
They also recommended closing all your windows and drawing your blinds. I imagined the poor elderly people they were speaking to on the News closing all their windows as the BBC recommended and then sitting in their oven for hours on end sweating up a storm. They just don’t seem to know how to cope with a bit of heat. Granted the windows aren’t well designed for breeze’s (in fact they are designed to keep the cold breeze’s out for the larger portion of the year) but keeping your house sealed up is just silly.
This latest quirk has made me smile even more than, “Please mind the gap between the train and the platform”, “This is a train to Cockfosters”, “When leaving the train please remember to take all your belongings with you” and the “Diddly Squat” billboard. All quality touristy experiences.
English readers please note: I am not that obnoxious tourist giggling in the tube over, “mind the gap” or giggling at every DLR stop when the lady with the funny accent says, “When leaving the train, please remember to take ALL your belongings with you”….I think I even managed to hide the giggle that escaped after the fifth stop traveling on the train to Cockfosters AND I was delirious after a 25 hour flight at that point.
I am breaking a sweat in this heat with the terribly designed hotel windows so I do understand where everyone’s coming from. In Australia there are air conditioned shopping centre’s all over the place. Here that is not the case, nor is air conditioning in your own home a real option. In Australia we flock to shopping centre’s in a heat wave if you aren’t lucky enough to own our own air conditioner. Over here you’re reliant on a cool breeze, public swimming venues, travel or a cold bath/shower.