An intense heat wave is currently sweeping Chile. Extremely hot temperatures broke a hundred-year-old record in Santiago, as the mercuries reached 37.3 °C (99 °F) on December 14, 2016.

An extreme heat alert for central Chile was issued on December 14 by the Chilean Meteorology Directorate (DMC), especially for areas between Valparaiso and Maule, where temperatures up to 38 °C (100 °F) were expected with heat index exceeding 40 °C (104 °F).

The temperatures reached its maximum around 17:00, December 14 (local time) in Santiago, where the previous temperature record of 37.2 °C (98.9 °F), set in 1915, was toppled. In Valparaiso, mercuries registered up to 38 °C (100 °F).

35 °C (95 °F) was reported in the O’Higgins region while 36 °C (96.8 °F) was expected in Maule, and 30 °C (86 °F) in the coastal parts of the country.

According to Chile’s meteorologists, such a heat wave is an extreme event. The officials have urged residents to take precaution measures against the sweltering conditions, wear light clothing, drink plenty of water and avoid being outdoors as much as possible.

The forestry service has warned of an extreme risk of fire, as the dry vegetation can quickly burst into flames, and series of forest fires are already affecting the central Chile. Six red alerts were issued and 80 incidents reported on December 13, according to the National Forestry Corporation.

Current temperatures will likely drop over the next couple of days.

Featured image credit: Jimmy Baikovicius (Flickr-CC)

The Watchers » Heat wave