Again, the National Meteorological Service (SMN) came back to predict another sweltering weekend. In the middle of the ninth heat wave of the year, the red alert for high temperatures continues in the city of Buenos Aires and its surroundings, where the rains will continue to be absent and the electrical system of the region does not seem to give enough. For this Saturday, the thermal sensation it could manage to position itself again above 40°C, as happened yesterday afternoon.
Those who can cool off in a swimming pool, and those who cannot, wait for the light on their way home. Neither fans nor air conditioners seem to be enough to remove the heat. From the SMN, they point out that the situation -which also affects several towns in the center-east of the country- is “unnatural” and they add that it is caused by a semi-stationary circulation pattern, atmospheric blocking, which prevents the entry of colder air into the region.
This Saturday, the forecast indicates that the maximum will oscillate between 37 and 38°C in Buenos Aires, close to the course reached on March 2. “It is not excluded that a historic record will be broken again with a little difference of days, which shows how abnormal the situation is. The thermal sensation will surely exceed 40°C at certain times of the afternoonas was the case yesterday”, explained the meteorologist of the SMN, Christian Garavaglia in dialogue with GlobeLiveMedia.
“The heat to a greater or lesser extent will continue for at least another week. This weekend will likely see the highest marks, 37-39C in the region. From Tuesday, there will be more humidity and instability, with the risk of isolated thunderstorms throughout the day and temperatures that will remain warm but probably lower, around 30 to 34 ° C “, he explained.
As the specialist pointed out, a “more defined” frontal system (a transition zone between two air masses of different temperatures) could only enter next weekend, with more widespread precipitation.
“It depends on how far it can go, it’s the degree of thermal descent we will have. There is still a bit of uncertainty in this forecast for so many days,” explained Garavaglia.
Faced with high temperatures, the demand for electricity is growing more and more: yesterday, while the thermometer of the City of Buenos Aires it marked 37.7 degrees and the thermal sensation exceeded 41, the consumption in the whole country reached its historical record and reached 28,562 MW. In this way, it was above the previous record for a working day of 28,283 MW which occurred on December 6, according to data provided by camthe wholesale electricity company.
As the hours passed, the extreme demand began to gradually decrease and by 5 p.m. it was still at 27,800 MW, putting pressure on the stability of the Argentine Interconnection System (SADI), which produces electricity for the whole country except Tierra del Fuego.
In this context, one of the biggest problems that Argentines worry about is the power outages. As of 8:45 a.m., according to information from the National Electricity Regulatory Entity (ENRE), more than 16,000 power outages were reported in various areas of the Buenos Aires metropolitan area. The greatest conditions are presented by the company Edesur, in neighborhoods such as Floresta, Villa Lugano, Mataderos, Recoleta, Almagro and Villa Riachuelo. For its part, the firm Edenor recorded cuts in Chas Park, Collegiales, Belgrano, Coghlan and part of Villa Urquiza.
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The red alert has been in effect since yesterday for the entire territory of Buenos Aires and the Buenos Aires parties of Almirante Brown, Avellaneda, Berazategui, Florencio Varela, Lanús, Lomas de Zamora, President Perón and Quilmes. These cities are also joined by Berisso, Ensenada, La Plata, Brandsen, Cañuelas, San Vicente, Esteban Echeverría, La Matanza, Ezeiza and Merlo, where the highest temperature in the whole country was recorded on Friday when the wind chill reached 44.1 degrees in the afternoon. Likewise, the federal capital also reached suffocating highs by reporting 41.2 degrees.
This type of alarm is intended to warn of the extreme effects that high temperatures could have on the health of even the healthiest people. For this reason, the National Ministry of Health has issued a series of tips to avoid decompensation during a heat wave and warned that the effects could range from dehydration, complications, to increased mortality.
“Special attention is recommended for the elderly, babies, boys and girls, pregnant and breastfeeding people, people with chronic illnesses or who are overweight, people exposed to heat in their work environment, those who live on the street and those who consider that they may be more exposed due to the impact of the heat wave. In this sense, it is suggested that certain necessary precautions be taken as appropriate,” they expressed.
The recommendations in closed places (home, work, or other) to avoid heat stroke are: stay hydrated, drink water more frequently (even when you are not thirsty), and try to always consume drinking water, avoid caffeine or excess sugar, very cold or very hot. In addition, it is suggested to incorporate fruits and vegetables in the diet and to avoid heavy meals, as well as intense physical activities.
On public roads, the national body recommended avoiding direct exposure to the sun during the hottest hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), especially babies, girls and young children; use sunscreen, stay hydrated, and drink clean water more often (even when you’re not thirsty).
Likewise, it is advisable to pay attention to signs such as: intense thirst and dry mouth, body temperature above 39º C, excessive sweating, feeling of suffocation, dry skin, exhaustion, dizziness or fainting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, nausea or vomiting and headaches, among others.