(Bloomberg) -- Warnings of extreme heat in Bangkok were issued for the sixth consecutive day, reflecting near-record temperatures across Thailand, where the heat-related death toll is approaching last year’s tally.    

Bangkok’s heat index — a measure of how hot it feels like when humidity is taken into account — was listed as above 52C (126F) and “very dangerous” on Thursday, according to a Facebook post by the metropolitan administration, which told people to avoid outdoor activities. The same statement has been repeated daily since Saturday. 

A special warning was added ahead of a forecast that the sun will be perpendicular — or exactly 90 degrees — over Bangkok just after noon on Friday, when temperatures are expected to reach 39C, though still shy the 41C peak last May.  

Thailand’s northern and northeastern regions are expected to be the hottest in the country until the end of the month, with temperatures hitting 44C in some areas, according to the Thai Meteorological Department. Hail and thunderstorms may strike those two regions, the department said. 

Deaths related to heat stroke have risen to 30 nationwide this year, the Ministry of Public Health said in a statement on Wednesday. The country officially recorded 37 heat-related deaths in 2023, according to government data. 

The Minister of Energy said Thailand’s power usage surged to a record high 35,830 megawatts on Monday, with the temperature reaching 44.2C in the northern province Lampang on that day.  

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy has been bracing for hotter-than-normal days due to the El Nino weather pattern that’s forecast to last until June. The boiling temperatures are hitting the Thai agriculture sector, with “worries about their sugar market,” The Hightower Report said in a market commentary this week. 

The highest temperature recorded in Thailand was 44.6C at points in both 2016 and 2023, according to the meteorological department. 


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