Long, intense heat wave to cook southern Vietnam

By Dinh Van   February 17, 2024 | 06:00 pm PT
Long, intense heat wave to cook southern Vietnam
A woman shields herself against the sun and heat in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Van
Due to El Nino, Ho Chi Minh City and other localities in southern Vietnam will experience longer, more intense heat waves this year than in 2023, experts predict.

The southern region has been heating up over the last few very sunny days, with noontime temperatures hovering around 36-37 degrees Celsius.

The heat has caused waves of dehydration and fatigue throughout the city's population.

Normally, the region begins experiencing heat waves starting mid-February, according to the Southern Regional Hydro-Meteorological Center. However, the heat is coming earlier this year, and to a wider area, due to the effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon.

Le Dinh Quyet, head of the forecast department of the center, said that this new El Nino period would see stronger heat waves compared to the previous two periods, one in 2016 and the other in 2020.

The highest temperature recorded in February 2016 was 37 degrees Celsius, and by Feb. 15 this year, the highest temperature recorded in Bien Hoa, around 30 km from HCMC, was already 38 degrees. More long-lasting heat waves are expected in the coming time, especially between March-April.

Quyet said stronger heat waves and less rain may cause droughts and salt intrusion in agricultural areas. Mekong Delta localities will also face the risks of erosion as canal water levels drop.

Nguyen Ngoc Huy, a weather expert, said climate change has also contributed to abnormalities in southern Vietnam's weather patterns this year. Several weather stations across the world have forecast that temperatures in the first four months of this year will be 0.7-1.5 degrees higher than the average temperatures recorded over the last decade.

"The number of sunny days in the south will be higher than in previous years, with more rains and floods expected in the latter half of this year compared to previous years," said Huy.

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