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Number of heat wave days to rise this summer due to changed criteria

All News 15:35 May 08, 2020

SEOUL, May 8 (Yonhap) -- The number of heat wave days is expected to increase by about four days this summer due to changed standards for issuing heat wave alerts, the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said Friday.

According to the KMA, the criteria for heat wave alerts will be changed to apparent temperature that reflects both temperature and humidity, starting this year, to help reduce the health impact of heat waves.

The KMA said it will use the apparent temperature, also known as sensible temperature, as the yardstick for issuing heat wave advisories or warnings on a trial basis this year before formally enforcing the change next year.

This file photo, taken on Aug. 13, 2019, shows a citizen walking in a public park in Seoul amid a heat wave advisory. (Yonhap)

The agency said the planned shift to apparent temperature will come amid criticism that the current heat wave alert system has failed to properly reflect the actual health impact.

Under the new criteria, heat wave advisories and warnings are issued when the maximum apparent temperature is projected to exceed 33 C and 35 C, respectively, for at least two days, according to the KMA.

The agency will additionally issue heat wave alerts if sensible temperatures are forecast to rise steeply or damage is expected due to prolonged heat waves.

Due to the changed weather standards, the number of heat wave days is expected to increase by 3.7 days to 19.8 days nationwide annually, the KMA said, explaining the number will decline in inland areas with low humidity by 0.3 days and increase in coastal areas with high humidity by 8.6 days.


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