Jakarta – The Meteorological Agency in Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, India, China, Thailand and Laos have recently reported hot temperatures of more than 40°C that lasted for a few days, hitting new maximum temperature records in the region. In Indonesia, the daily maximum temperature was recorded at 37.2°C at the BMKG Ciputat observation station in south Jakarta last week, with the average highest temperature recorded in several locations ranging between 34°C and 36°C.
“April’s hot temperature in the Asian region is climatologically influenced by the apparent motion of the sun, but the spike in heat in the South Asian subcontinent, the Indochina region and East Asia in 2023 is one of the most significant spikes,” said the Head of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), Dwikorita Karnawati in a press release, adding that the public should remain vigilant and not panic.
BMKG explained that the characteristics of a heat wave generally occur in areas located in the middle to high latitudes, in the northern and southern hemispheres, in geographical areas that have or are adjacent to land masses with a large area, or areas continental or sub-continental. While Indonesia is located in the equatorial region, with geographical conditions of the archipelago surrounded by vast waters.
Secondly, in terms of statistical indicators of occurrence temperature, heat waves in weather and climate science are defined as weather periods with an unusual increase in hot temperatures and lasting at least five consecutive days or more (according to the limitations of the World Meteorological Agency or WMO).
In addition, for weather phenomena included as a heat wave category, a location must record a daily maximum temperature that exceeds a statistical threshold, for example 5 degrees Celsius hotter than the climatological average maximum temperature. If the maximum temperature occurs within the average range and does not last long, then it is not categorized as a heat wave.
Karnawati said in terms of the characteristics of the phenomenon, the high temperatures that occur in Indonesia are a phenomenon resulting from the apparent motion of the sun which is a normal cycle and occurs every year, so that the potential for hot air temperatures like this can also be repeated at the same period every year.
The maximum temperature jump that was recorded to reach 37.2°C at the BMKG station in Ciputat only occurred once on April 17, 2023. The high temperature has since fallen and now the maximum temperature variation of 34°C- 36°C for the Indonesian region is still within the climatological normal range compared to previous years.
Climatologically, in this case for Jakarta, April-May-June are the months when the maximum temperature reaches its peak, apart from October-November. Meanwhile, climate experts concluded that the ongoing trend of global warming and climate change has contributed to making heat waves more likely to occur more frequently. (Hartatik)