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The excess heat factor: a metric for heatwave intensity and its use in classifying heatwave severity.

Nairn JR, Fawcett RJ - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2014)

Bottom Line: Heatwaves represent a significant natural hazard in Australia, arguably more hazardous to human life than bushfires, tropical cyclones and floods.This methodology was used to introduce a pilot national heatwave forecasting service for Australia during the 2013/2014 summer.Some results on the performance of the service are presented.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: South Australian Regional Office, Bureau of Meteorology, Adelaide, South Australia 5067, Australia. j.nairn@bom.gov.au.

ABSTRACT
Heatwaves represent a significant natural hazard in Australia, arguably more hazardous to human life than bushfires, tropical cyclones and floods. In the 2008/2009 summer, for example, many more lives were lost to heatwaves than to that summer's bushfires which were among the worst in the history of the Australian nation. For many years, these other forms of natural disaster have received much greater public attention than heatwaves, although there are some signs of change. We propose a new index, called the excess heat factor (EHF) for use in Australian heatwave monitoring and forecasting. The index is based on a three-day-averaged daily mean temperature (DMT), and is intended to capture heatwave intensity as it applies to human health outcomes, although its usefulness is likely to be much broader and with potential for international applicability. The index is described and placed in a climatological context in order to derive heatwave severity. Heatwave severity, as characterised by the climatological distribution of heatwave intensity, has been used to normalise the climatological variation in heatwave intensity range across Australia. This methodology was used to introduce a pilot national heatwave forecasting service for Australia during the 2013/2014 summer. Some results on the performance of the service are presented.

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Map showing the Australian States/Territory and other locations mentioned in the text.
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ijerph-12-00227-f001: Map showing the Australian States/Territory and other locations mentioned in the text.

Mentions: A pilot heatwave forecasting service for Australia based on the EHF was introduced in January 2014 for the latter part of the 2013/2014 Australian summer. We present in the Appendix some calculations on the performance of the forecasts across the summer. Subsequent consultation with State and Territory health and emergency sector stakeholders from across Australia found the service appropriately matched their requirements. Recommended service adjustments are under consideration for improved alignment across the sector’s mitigation and response plans. The Australian jurisdictions (State and Territory) and locations mentioned in the text are shown in Figure 1.


The excess heat factor: a metric for heatwave intensity and its use in classifying heatwave severity.

Nairn JR, Fawcett RJ - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2014)

Map showing the Australian States/Territory and other locations mentioned in the text.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4306859&req=5

ijerph-12-00227-f001: Map showing the Australian States/Territory and other locations mentioned in the text.
Mentions: A pilot heatwave forecasting service for Australia based on the EHF was introduced in January 2014 for the latter part of the 2013/2014 Australian summer. We present in the Appendix some calculations on the performance of the forecasts across the summer. Subsequent consultation with State and Territory health and emergency sector stakeholders from across Australia found the service appropriately matched their requirements. Recommended service adjustments are under consideration for improved alignment across the sector’s mitigation and response plans. The Australian jurisdictions (State and Territory) and locations mentioned in the text are shown in Figure 1.

Bottom Line: Heatwaves represent a significant natural hazard in Australia, arguably more hazardous to human life than bushfires, tropical cyclones and floods.This methodology was used to introduce a pilot national heatwave forecasting service for Australia during the 2013/2014 summer.Some results on the performance of the service are presented.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: South Australian Regional Office, Bureau of Meteorology, Adelaide, South Australia 5067, Australia. j.nairn@bom.gov.au.

ABSTRACT
Heatwaves represent a significant natural hazard in Australia, arguably more hazardous to human life than bushfires, tropical cyclones and floods. In the 2008/2009 summer, for example, many more lives were lost to heatwaves than to that summer's bushfires which were among the worst in the history of the Australian nation. For many years, these other forms of natural disaster have received much greater public attention than heatwaves, although there are some signs of change. We propose a new index, called the excess heat factor (EHF) for use in Australian heatwave monitoring and forecasting. The index is based on a three-day-averaged daily mean temperature (DMT), and is intended to capture heatwave intensity as it applies to human health outcomes, although its usefulness is likely to be much broader and with potential for international applicability. The index is described and placed in a climatological context in order to derive heatwave severity. Heatwave severity, as characterised by the climatological distribution of heatwave intensity, has been used to normalise the climatological variation in heatwave intensity range across Australia. This methodology was used to introduce a pilot national heatwave forecasting service for Australia during the 2013/2014 summer. Some results on the performance of the service are presented.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus