Tourists cover their faces to save themselves from the scorching sun in Dubai. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News

Dubai: Weather readings on smart phones in the UAE have already started to show a large gap between actual and perceived temperatures, indicating a difference by as much as 10 °C on Thursday morning.

So what’s the difference between the two?

The perceived temperature, which is also referred to as the apparent temperature, is calculated through combining the effects of air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed.

So while the actual temperature is 39 °C, a humidity level of around 45 per cent and hot winds may make the weather feel like 49°C.

However, the apparent temperature also depends on how tolerant a person’s body is to heat so people from colder climates will have a harder time acclimatising to the heat.

The National Centre for Meteorology (NCM) told Gulf News that after calculating the maximum mean temperature from 2003 to 2018, the mean air temperature for July was the highest out of the whole year.

Sufian Khaled Farrah, a meteorologist and cloud-seeding specialist at the NCM, told Gulf News: “The month of July is considered to be the hottest month of the summer due to the effect of thermal laws exchanged over the country.”

The southeasterly winds currently blowing across the country will also accelerate air temperature, making it feel as if hot air is blowing across your face.

“The thermal insulation is the highest during July, which activates the temperature and causes it to rise,” explained Farrah.

The average temperature for July ranges from 34.8 °C to 37.2°C, according to statistics provided by the NCM. The average maximum temperature is between 40.7 °C and 43.8 °C, while the average minimum temperature is between 29.1 °C and 31.6°C. The highest temperature ever recorded was 51.8 °C in 2017 in Mezaira.

Protection from the sun

To protect yourself from the summer’s scorching rays, the World Health Organization recommends wearing hats, sunglasses and light clothing, as well as trying to stay in the shade as much as possible.

  • Apply sunscreen on parts of the body that are exposed, like the face and hands. Sunscreen should never be used to prolong the duration of sun exposure.
  • Limit time in the midday sun. The sun’s UV rays are the strongest between 10am and 4pm. Take particular care when in the sun during these hours.
  • Avoid sunlamps and tanning salons. Sunbeds and sunlamps increase the risk of skin cancer and can damage unprotected eyes. They should be avoided entirely.
  • Protect children. Children are generally more susceptible to environmental hazards than adults. During outdoor activities, they should be protected from high UV exposure as above, and babies should always remain in the shade.

Source: World Health Organization