There's no denying it, Croatia is in the peak of a heatwave. Temperatures on Monday are expected to be the warmest of the summer and meteorologists and doctors are urging the public to take precautions.
Temperatures on Monday morning were already around 30 degrees Celsius in some places. By afternoon, they are above 35 degrees and rising. And it’s not just the heat that’s making it so uncomfortable outside; humidity is also running high.
"The combination of heat and relative humidity really bothers many people. Unfortunately, not only during the day but overnight, humidity is expected to remain quite high. The coming night will be unpleasant for many. In some places in Dalmatia, temperatures will be close to hot overnight. Split and Dubrovnik will probably be hotter tonight than last night, when it was 28-29 degrees, so we should prepare some cooling methods to cope with these not-so-usual conditions," cautions HRT’s meteorologist Zoran Vakula.
Statistically, Vakula says, this is usually the peak of the summer heat as temperatures begin to decline after August 15. Also, the forecast for midweek is temperatures a good 10 degrees cooler than today. However, Vakula warns that another heat wave, which is expected to be milder, is forecast for early next week.
For days now the hottest place in the country has been Knin, in the Dalmatian hinterland. Temperatures there have been above 35 degrees for five consecutive days, but they hit 40 today, and even residents accustomed to the heat are having trouble comping.
"I'm really struggling today, feeling light-headed and not sure how the day's going to go. I like to get everything done early in the morning and rest after lunch," an older woman told Croatian Radio this morning.
The heat has affected many people's health, particularly the elderly.
"I'm going out early before it gets really hot. I'm 80 and I'm feeling dizzy already," one man told Croatian Radio.
Some older people say they’ve found a way around the heat, like this man.
"I have no problems. I don't have air-conditioning and my home gets a lot of sun. I just pull down the shades and plug in a fan. That's perfect for me."
Emergency rooms around the country are reporting a spike in heat-related cases. Health care professionals are urging those who are vulnerable to stay indoors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and to stay well-hydrated.