Cold waves with effect on human health
Much like heat waves, cold waves have an effect on people, leading to increased mortality and morbidity. However, while the effect of heat waves is mostly concentrated over 1-2 days after the heat wave, cold waves cause a delayed increase in mortality even after they are over. Even though heat waves have higher maximum mortality than cold waves, the total increase in mortality is higher after cold waves than after hot waves.
Criteria for the occurrence of hot waves with potential risk to human health are defined using mortality and air temperature data for the period 1983-2008. The degree of risk is determined based on the increase in mortality:
||mortality increase 5 % above average
||mortality increase 7.5% above average
|Very high risk
||mortality increase 10% above average
Cold wave warnings and protection recommendations for cold waves with potential risk to human health are published on the website of the National Hydrometeorological Service (meteo.hr).
The warnings for cold waves that affect human health are not the same as the low temperature warnings visible on the Meteoalarm website. Low temperatures have a substantial effect on human health, but they can also affect energy supply, in particular power supply, freezing of liquids, which has special importance with regard to drinking water supply, and so on. The health-critical thresholds in some regions can be very different from the thresholds and temperature values that can affect the economy, traffic, and so on. The cold warnings on the Meteoalarm platform refer to a broader array of effects and are different from the warnings about cold with potential effect on human health.