The prevailing extremely humid conditions will change with the onset of the south-west monsoon in early June, a Meteorology Department official said yesterday.
Met Department official D. A. Jayasinghearachchi said the Western and Sabaragamuwa provinces and the Matara and Galle districts in the Southern Province would experience the monsoon which could spread to the Hambantota and Kurunegala districts depending on the intensity and direction of the winds.
He said daytime showers could be expected next week and in June while the monsoon weather conditions would prevail till September. He said the rain and accompanying winds would help ease the present extreme heat and humid conditions linked to the inter-monsoon period.
Mr. Jayasinghearachchi said the present humid conditions were caused by a large amount of water vapours present in the atmosphere. He said that during the inter-monsoon period, winds blew inland from the south-west, carrying evaporation from the sea and increasing the humidity in the air. In addition to this, warm sea temperatures in the night also contributed to an increase in humidity.
He said that since high humidity did not facilitate the evaporation of perspiration produced by the human body, people would feel warm, sticky and uncomfortable. Besides, the lack of cloud formation during the day results in the sun’s rays directly falling on the surface of the earth and a rise in atmospheric temperature, the Met Department official said.
Meanwhile, the Western and Southern Provinces have been experiencing short spells of showers in the past few days, but residents said the humid conditions still prevailed. “The heat is almost unbearable and having to go out in the afternoon during these days is virtually a penance,” said Malkanthi, a resident of Dematagoda.
Senuri, a student from a Colombo school said schoolchildren were the worst affected by the extreme hot weather. “I get a massive headache every day when I reach home after school. I don’t feel like staying up all night to study because it is very uncomfortable,” she said.