The Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Service has warned about a possible Excessive Heat Event that could occur on the island from Tuesday, August 22, to Monday, August 28.
This event is expected to last daily from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, with light wind speeds forecasted throughout the week.
This could result in heat accumulation and humidity, leading to a higher heat index or “feels-like” temperature. The possibility of this heat index rising to at least a moderate level is highly likely.
When the possibility of an excessive heat event arises, an Excessive Heat Outlook is issued. This is defined as a heat index of 38°C (100°F) or higher, combined with a mean wind speed of usually 18 km/h (11 mph) or less within the next 3-7 days.
Meteorologists are forecasting the potential for the heat index to surge above 41°C (106°F) in certain areas, commencing on Tuesday. This suggests the likelihood of requiring an Excessive Heat Watch to be put in place.
Health authorities have emphasized that this intense heat can put everyone at risk of heat-related illnesses.
However, specific groups such as the elderly, young children, individuals with chronic health issues like respiratory problems, heart ailments, or mental health disorders, as well as those who work or exercise in high temperatures, homeless individuals, and low-income earners, are especially vulnerable.
The Meteorological Services will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation, updating the public with the latest information in the coming days.
The issuance of an Excessive Heat Watch is expected by Sunday as experts continue to analyze evolving weather patterns.
The public is advised to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to safeguard their well-being during this heatwave.
These measures include staying hydrated, avoiding direct sunlight during peak heat hours, using appropriate sun protection, and ensuring that vulnerable individuals can access cool and safe spaces.