Summer heat is no joke — especially when it’s not even July and temperatures are already getting over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of the world. A weather map of Europe showed a recent heat wave, and the various shades of red in the map seem to resemble that famous painting of a screaming skull, Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”
Meteorologist Ruben Hallali noted the uncanny resemblance on Twitter and also pointed out that in his 15-year career of looking at weather maps of heat waves, he’d never seen anything quite like it:
— Ruben H (@korben_meteo) June 20, 2019
According to Météociel spokesperson Sylvain Dupont, the fact that the map resembles the painting is completely random.
“By chance, it just happened to be possible to imagine a special form of a skull in this map,” he told CNN. “There are so many maps created on our site for each updated forecast that it is statistically possible for some to look like something.”
However, he did note that the map was remarkable, nonetheless, as it illustrated temperatures of 26 to 28 degrees Celsius (79-82 Fahrenheit) across France, which is uncommon for this time of year. The temperature in Paris is expected to be well into the 90s (Fahrenheit) through the weekend.
Most of Western Europe, including France, Germany, Spain and Portugal, is expected to experience a heat wave this week, one that’s possibly even deadly. Temperatures are expected to get as high as 44 degrees Celsius, or 111 degrees Fahrenheit, and the heat has already broken records in Germany and Czech Republic.
CNN reported that last year’s deadly heat waves and drought in Europe haven’t been forgotten by those who lived through them, and unfortunately, this is a trend linked to climate change. “Heat waves are on the rise,” concluded Stefan Rahmstorf, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, in a statement, noting that the five hottest summers in Europe have all happened in since 2000.
Meanwhile, the current heat wave has already taken a toll. French newspaper Midi Libre reported that three people have died due to cold shock after jumping into cold water to escape the heat.
So, what are some safe ways to stay cool in a heat wave? Here are some tips for avoiding overheating:
1. Stay Hydrated
According to ProMedica Health Connect, there are several ways you can work to prevent overheating and heat stroke in high temperatures. One of the main ways is to stay hydrated. They recommend carrying a water bottle with you at all times, and to be sure to hydrate before ever stepping outside.
“Hydrate before going outside with fluids that are good for you,” Kimberly Webber, CNP of ProMedica Urgent Care, recommended. “Water is the most important. Our bodies function on water and it keeps the balance of everything we need.”
2. The Buddy System
WebMD suggests going outdoors with someone else, or at the very least, making sure someone knows your schedule, so that there’s someone nearby to help if you need it.
“If you’re going outdoors with someone else, they can get a sense if you are not acting right,” Dr. Chad Asplund said.”Also, if there is trouble, someone can provide aid or seek help.”
And, “If you don’t return on time, they’ll know precisely what your route was, so help can be sent,” he said.
Also, check on your neighbors, to make sure they’re making it through the heat, too.
3. Take Time To Cool Down
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, taking frequent breaks to sit in the shade or stop to rehydrate can really go a long way in the summer heat. Don’t plan on being outside for extended periods of time without taking plenty of breaks to ensure your safety.
4. Cool Down Your Home
One good thing to do in a heat wave, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is to find a place that offers air conditioning. If your home is too hot, you can visit cooling centers in your community such as libraries, senior centers, and community centers.
But if you must stay in a home without air conditioning, you can do some things that will cool your house down. Make sure lights are off and your windows are covered with drapes or shades. Use window reflectors, like cardboard covered with aluminum foil, to send heat back outside.
As the summer temperatures start to rise, make sure you’re taking the necessary precautions to stay safe in the heat — especially if you live in an area that’s experiencing a heat wave.