Humidity Highs

30 Apr 2014
POSTED BY Y Magazine

We all knew it was going to become hotter over this period but a sudden rise in humidity has left the Sultanate’s residents getting more than a little sweaty.

Changing weather and rising levels of humidity has pushed up the heat index to around 40-45 degrees Celsius in some parts of Oman. 

The heat index is a measurement developed in 1978 by George Winterling, a US meteorologist, which attempts to combine readings of temperature and relative humidity. This combination then gives a figure that reveals how hot it feels to humans. 

Meteorologists from the Directorate General of Meteorology and Air Navigation (DGMAN) have reportedly pointed to the fact that an easterly wind has caused higher humidity levels, varying between 55 and 85 per cent.

So while we’ve all been feeling an intense humidity over the last few days, you may be surprised to know that the temperature in some parts has actually been lower for the season compared to previous years.

High humidity levels can feel uncomfortable because of the skin’s inability to get rid of sweat in humid conditions, according to one doctor in Ruwi. 

He pointed to the fact that it’s an unwinnable situation for the body. The heat makes us sweat more but air saturated with moisture doesn’t allow the sweat to dry. 

But far from simply adding to discomfort, being subjected to an increased heat index and higher moisture levels in the air can make you sick.

Doctors in Muscat have reportedly highlighted a raft of health problems from the humid weather including heartburn and hyper-acidity. If that wasn’t enough, add an increase in skin problems such as rashes to the list of symptoms.

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