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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Laos Records Highest Ever Temperature Amid Sweltering Southeast Asian Heatwave

This Week

Amid a heatwave raging across Southeast Asia, Laos experienced its highest-ever temperatures in history last week, according to a prominent climatologist.

The weather historian Maximiliano Herrera said on Twitter that on 6 May Laos saw record-breaking temperatures when the mercury soared to a staggering 43.5 degrees in Luang Prabang.

According to Herrera, last Saturday was the hottest night in Laos’ history in Khammouane’s Thakek district, with temperatures reaching 31.8 degrees, while Champasack’s Pakse district saw an extremely hot day, with a maximum temperature of 41.3 degrees.

Although not as hot as Luang Prabang, Vientiane Capital set a record with temperatures reaching 42.5 degrees, according to CNN.

In addition to Laos, the report says that Vietnam recorded the highest-ever temperature of 44.1 degrees in the northern province of Thanh Hoa, where officials advised residents to stay indoors during the warmest parts of the day.

Thailand also reported a high of 44.6 degrees in its western Mak region and 41 degrees in Bangkok. Meanwhile, Myanmar’s media reported that a town in the country’s east had registered a maximum temperature of 43.8 degrees Celsius, the highest the country had seen in a decade.

CNN additionally noted that the heat in the aforementioned countries has been exacerbated by an extremely smoggy season due to agriculture burning, causing air pollution levels to skyrocket.

Scientists have long warned that the effects of the human-caused climate crisis will lead to more frequent and intense heat waves.

A 2022 study predicted that dangerous heat waves, with temperatures of 39.4 degrees Celsius and above, will occur between three and 10 times more often by the end of the century. In tropical regions like Asia, the study found that days of “extremely dangerous heat” (51 degrees or higher) could double, putting millions of people at risk.

However, relief is around the corner according to The Mekong River Commission (MRC), which confirmed to Laotian Times that rainfall is expected across Laos from today until the end of the week which will help cool down the hot air or temperature gradually.

“Based on our rainfall forecast with the data from the Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station (CHIRPS), some moderate rainfall is forecasted for the Lower Mekong Basin area including Laos from 9 to 11 May. During 12–14 May, some moderate and rather heavy rainfall is expected for Laos, especially in the northern part,” said MRC.

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