The regional health service of Valencia has already activated this year’s campaign to warn the population about the dangers which come with the summer heat and avoid sunstroke and heat strokes, responding to a health threat which last year resulted in 17 such cases in the Comunidad Valenciana, nine of them in the province of Alicante.
This follows warnings from State meteorological agency Aemet that the summer of 2015 is likely to be warmer and drier than usual, with no rain expected until late August, and the campaign is scheduled to last until 30th September unless the weather behaves unexpectedly.
Jorge Tamayo, the head of Aemet in Valencia, reports that there is a 45% chance of higher than usual temperatures in the region this summer, and this is not quite counter-balanced by a 25% probability of the summer being cooler than usual.
In the shorter term, for the San Juan bonfires next Tuesday and Wednesday nights the forecast is for fine weather with temperatures slightly higher than this week.
In general terms, Sr Tamayo concurs that the general trend of the last thirty years coincides with the generally accepted theory of climate change, meaning that the risk of heat-related illness in this part of Spain is likely to continue to rise.
The plan for this summer in the health service is to produce daily maps using colour codes to show the degree of risk in different areas. Zones shaded green will be relatively risk free, yellow will be used when the temperature is above 35ºC and orange comes into play above 39ºC. Red alert status is reserved for temperatures of 41ºC or over, and each colour is associated with different interventions and actions.
Children and the elderly are considered to be at special risk from excessive heat, as are those of limited mobility, the obese, those indulging in sporting activity and others who making physical efforts. Pregnant women should also take special care not to over-exert themselves in high temperatures.
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