The heat index, also referred to as the apparent temperature, accounts for the combined impact of air temperature and relative humidity on the human body. (PN file photo)

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has projected a searing 42°C heat index for today, March 25, and tomorrow.

A heat index of 42°C is categorized as “dangerous” by PAGASA, posing risks of heat cramps, exhaustion, and potentially life-threatening heatstroke.

The city recently endured similar conditions, with temperatures reaching 42°C on Saturday before slightly decreasing to 41°C on Sunday.

Nearby areas, such as the town of Aborlan, are also anticipated to face similarly perilous heat indices on Tuesday.

Bacnotan town in La Union recorded a 46°C heat index last week, the highest in the country this year, and is expected to experience the same temperature on Tuesday.

The heat index, also known as the “feels-like” temperature, measures the combined effect of air temperature and humidity on the human body.

Prolonged exposure to high temperatures, particularly when engaged in strenuous activities, can lead to symptoms such as sweating, exhaustion, dizziness, and nausea.

Vulnerable populations, including the elderly, infants, individuals with weakened immune systems, and those with obesity or chronic alcoholism, are at heightened risk.

Emergency responses to mitigate heat-related illnesses include moving affected individuals to shaded areas, providing cool water for hydration, applying cool water to the skin, and seeking medical attention promptly if symptoms worsen.