The frequency of heat waves in many countries is getting to be a cause for concern. In 2003, the death toll was fifty thousand across the Continent of Europe, eleven thousand in Russia in 2010 and seven hundred in Chicago in 1995. The rise in temperature is attributable to climate change, exacerbated by growth of cities and an increase in global population. Scientists are hoping that some time in the not-too-distant future, forecasters would be able to predict the onset of heat waves in advance, which, in turn, might prevent catastrophes.
Months of low rainfall that leaves soils extremely dry can cause a rise in temperature. The importance of soil moisture helps sap heat by way of evaporation. Lack of moisture causes the earth to bake.
The National Weather Service is counting on the possibility that the “tools” for predicting the severe rise in temperature in many parts of the world would help alert those that might be susceptible to its deleterious effect. Recent studies have shown that extreme heat has the potential to kill more people than floods, hurricane and tornadoes.
Predicting heat waves should not be left on the “back burner” and is no less important than predicting earthquakes. Nature has a way of letting us know in advance about certain impending catastrophes, one of which being ascertaining in advance the impact of its vagaries that remain beyond our control.