Severe heat on tap for weekend across Thailand

Severe heat on tap for weekend across Thailand

Parts of Thailand are facing an extra-hot weekend thanks to an unusually warm air mass over the Pacific Ocean, a Mahidol University academic said on Tuesday.

The front was the hottest measured in 50 years and could cover the country and push temperatures higher than at this point last year, said Jiraphol Sinthunava, a lecturer at Mahidol University's Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies.

Thailand would be the hottest country in Southeast Asia between Thursday and Saturday and the advancing warm front could become a severe heatwave that could pose health hazards, he said.

A severe heatwave is one that sees temperatures hover above 42 degrees Celsius for more than 24 hours while relative humidity exceeds 70%, he said.

Vulnerable to excessive heat are children younger than five years old, seniors aged 70 and older, and those suffering diseases that impaired their cooling system, Mr Jiraphol said.

"Last year heatwaves occurred in India and killed about 2,500 people," he said. He urged concerned authorities to prepare to cope with such a weather condition.

The Meteorological Department predicted that a low-pressure area would cover upper Thailand in the next seven days and cause hot and extremely hot weather in some areas.

Meanwhile, southeast winds would bring humidity from the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand to the lower Northeast, Central Plain, East and the South and cause rain there.

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