SUN Lab’s climatology team with the support of the Russia Science Foundation is developing the first russian system for predicting heat risks for urban residents. The “Heat in Russia – 2020” project applies an experimental technology, based on modeling the thermal balance of the human body in various meteorological situations, and allows to identify “heat waves” and indicate the most dangerous time periods.
Since the preliminary forecasts of the Hydrometeorological Center of Russia foreshadowed a rather hot second half of the summer 2020, our experts decided to familiarize the media and teach russian citizens to take care about themselves during a dangerous summer season by getting informed about the trickiest heat periods and not only track the chronicle of the summer heat, but also find the expected impact of hot weather on their well-being in the coming day.
Our meteorologists, led by project’s creator Pavel Konstantinov, calculate daily heat stress statistics for the past day in 32 largest cities of Russia and assess the most likely heat situation for the next day. The global forecast of the GFS model provides sufficient accuracy for calculating heat stress characteristics for the human body. Moreover, for a number of cities, scientists even calculate the forecast of thermal stress for a person who is “in the sun” and “in the shade”, and even during jogging.
According to international practice, the most reliable indicator for assessing human thermal comfort is Physiologically Equivalent Temperature (PET). PET is an indicator of how the weather or thermal stress affect the human body.
The problem of the negative impact of hot weather on the life of urban residents has long been known. Higher air temperatures and the specificity of the microclimate in cities have an impact on ecosystems, the economy, as well as on the health and comfort of the population. In recent years, there have been numerous studies that show a strong correlation between human health and biometeorological indices. Heat stress in the summer months has been shown to increase cardiovascular disease and mortality. Thus, in the summer of 2010, a “heat wave” claimed the lives of more than 52,000 residents of Russia.
Despite weather forecasts are never 100% accurate, the forecast of heat stress for the next day is usually much more reliable than the forecast of individual meteorological parameters – precipitation, wind strength, cloud cover, etc.