Heat alerts are becoming the new normal in Hungary due to the increasingly frequent heatwaves during the summer. Temperatures of 35 degrees (95 °F) in the shade are not uncommon now, and it can stay around 20 degrees (68 °F) even at night.
This used to be a lot less common, but these near-Saharan temperatures are now becoming so frequent that we have to adapt our lifestyles accordingly.
Meteorological records show that level 2 heat alerts are now three times as common as they were a hundred years ago. A heat alerts are issued when one of three events occurs.
What does each heat alert level mean?
Level 1 heat alert
A level 1 heat alert is issued when the daily average temperature is expected to be around 25 degrees (77 °F).
Level 2 heat alert
Level 2 means that the average daily temperature on three consecutive days will reach or exceed 25 degrees (77 °F). This means a daily peak temperature of around 33 degrees (91 °F).
Level 3 heat alert
Level 3 heat alerts are issued when the average daily temperature creeps above 27 degrees (80 °F), which usually means peak temperatures of around 40 degrees (104 °F) on three consecutive days.
This certainly qualifies as ‘extreme’ weather. We love a warm summer day, but long-lasting heatwaves can have a detrimental effect on health.
Aranypart Camping Siófok – beach
Spend as much time as possible by the water
Many flee the heat of the cities to spend time by the water, whether at an outdoor swimming pool, Lake Balaton or some other lake or river. Little explanation is needed as to why it makes sense to swap the concrete jungle for fresh air and cool water. But it is worth mentioning that natural water formations are the best option when it comes to cooling down.
Open-air swimming pools typically have little shade, and lakes benefit from a light breeze.
Stay out of the sun, even by the lakeside
Do take care around midday, however, even if you are lucky enough to be around Lake Balaton. Many people know this rule but fail to observe it, but consider that even in hot, southern countries, beaches become mostly empty around lunchtime, and beach-goers only return after 4pm.
There is a good reason for this. An afternoon siesta is essential down there, because locals know, even without a heat alert being issued, that it is unwise to stay outside in the heat.
UV radiation – well-known but often ignored
During the summer, you must take special care to protect yourself from UV radiation. Some take it more seriously than others, so it is well worth familiarising yourself with it to understand the potential implications. That way, you might just start taking it more seriously yourself. Ultraviolet light is an invisible but very real form of energy.
It comes from the Sun, and there are two types of it that reach the Earth. The difference between UVA and UVB is that while UVB has some beneficial effects, UVA is mostly dangerous.
UVA is therefore ‘less popular’ but it is present throughout the day, and can pass through window glass and clouds unhindered, while most of UVB rays are absorbed by the ozone layer. UVB does have some beneficial effects. For example, it stimulates the generation of vitamin D, and causes tanning. UVA, on the other hand, burns the skin.
Both UVA and UVB are carcinogenic
We do need the sun, but it is unadvisable to sunbathe all day long. It is also a common misconception that staying in the water provides protection. On the other hand, a moderate amount of sunbathing in the late morning or the late afternoon is definitely healthy, even for children.
Protect yourself against the other dangers of the heat
Feeling sick in the heat and experiencing headaches, dizziness and heart palpitations can be caused by certain underlying conditions or advanced age, but also by dehydration. There are many people who hardly drink at all, and this can cause some serious issues in the summer.
Adults should drink more than the usually recommended 2-3 litres.
Take extra care with children
It is easy to leave children hot in the sun when it is very hot, thinking that they are having a great time in the sandpit or in the water. Do remember, though, that while you are watching them from the cool of a shade, they are sitting in the scorching sun, often without even a hat or a drink of water.
To avoid any unwelcome complications over your holiday, do bring the children into the shade in the early afternoon. There is plenty of fun to be had out of the sun, and everyone will enjoy a brief siesta.
Green spaces and air-conditioned accommodation at Aranypart Camping
The vicinity of the water and the shady trees at our campsite both provide some welcome cool. The shade and the humidity evaporating from the plants both cool the air and make dog days more enjoyable to our guests.
Our Eurocomfort, Carmen Plus and Star mobile houses are air-conditioned.