Andrea T Edwards

We are not ready for wet bulb temperatures, and yet it’s here

This week, Phuket officials issued stark warnings about heat stroke risks due to wet bulb temperatures, detailing the dangers, as well as what to do. Here’s the warning. This is not just happening in Phuket, it’s happening across the entire Global South (or soon will be), so we need to urgently educate people about what it means and how to get ready.

If you’ve been following my work, I’ve been doing loads of research since we experienced these heat extremes last year, and the fact it’s already hitting now in February, well, we should all be very concerned what it’s going to look like when we get to the hottest months in April and May. Maybe we’ll get lucky, I hope so!

Below is a screen shot from my weather app – AccuWeather. When you open your weather app, it shows two temperatures. The first is the actual temperature and the smaller one (real feel, feels like) is the wet bulb temperature. This is the one to pay attention too.

Researchers have shown that wet bulb temperatures from 31°C (87.8°F) can be lethal and if you live in this part of the world, you’ve probably already heard of people dying in the last couple of years – one example I recently heard was a gardener collapsing and dying while working. He had heat stroke.

To see wet bulb temperatures of 41°C already in February is truly a sign of the hot season we have coming across the whole Global South.

So please, wherever you are in this region, pay attention. Check the wet bulb temperature if you’re going to be out and about, especially if you’re planning to do any exercise, or even just hanging out outdoors.

If you know the owners of the workers camps, talk to them about making sure their people have somewhere to cool down and make sure they’re not working in these heat extremes. Everyone must avoid being out in the heat of the day.

If you have the power to influence government – local, regional or national – and can get this issue on their agenda, PLEASE do what you can, so we can protect the most vulnerable.

Know the signs. If you feel dizzy or woozy, get out of the heat. If you stop sweating and your skin is pasty, get medical help immediately – that’s heat stroke and it’s deadly.

Children, pregnant women, the elderly, and sick are most at risk, but it gets to a point where no one is safe in these heat extremes. What that temperature is, no one seems to know. I predict we will understand that extreme in 2024.

Then we have our animals, whether domestic or wild, they are at risk too. Just think of the elephants baking in this heat? The birds, cows, chickens, water buffalo, snakes, frogs, insects? What will happen to them if they can not escape the heat? Will we see ecosystem collapse? Extinction events?

Here is the long blog I wrote last year, when we hit wet bulb temperatures for the first time in Thailand in April. It alarmed me so much that we were already at this point and so I did months of research, and this goes through what it is and what to do.

Then I wrote a follow-up blog, where I summarized the actions you/we can take, including new learnings from the heat extremes experienced in the Northern Hemisphere in the Summer of 2023. English version, Thai version and Hindi version. If you are willing to translate into local language, I would be thrilled to share it so we can reach more people.


Please take wet bulb temperatures seriously. Get a decent weather app, keep track of wet bulb temperatures, you can’t survive this if it gets too hot no matter how young or healthy you are, and make sure you’re communicating with your community, especially those without technology.

I’ve been talking about this for a year, and we are not ready. There is a lot of risk here, so let’s do everything we can to take care of ourselves, our families, and of course, our wider community, especially the poor. Those living in slums, refugee camps, workers camps, etc.. will have a murderous hot season. Let’s come together and help them.

With love, always


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Uncommon Courage, an invitation

Uncommon Courage is an invitation to be your courageous best self every day. It’s also an antidote to the overwhelm, fear, and rage rolling around the world. But it’s more than a book; it’s an invitation to join an inclusive community that wants to better understand humanities challenges – both global and personal – in order to take courageous action and create a better world for everyone. If Covid19 gave us the time and space to reflect, Uncommon Courage gives us the nudge we need to create lasting change.

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You can read the reviews, including a new five-star review on Book Commentary, another five-star review on ReaderViews, a review on BookTrib, and three more on Booklife, another on Book Commentary and Blue Ink Reviews. I’m also collating reviews on my Website too. Have a look and grateful to everyone who has written or recorded one.

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