The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), which has predicted “severe” cold wave in the national capital and several other parts of North India, has urged residents of India’s northernmost states to protect themselves from the biting cold by avoiding alcohol.
The IMD said a “severe” cold wave is expected over North India from December 29.
A cold wave occurs when the minimum temperature dips to 10 degrees Celsius or less and the departure from normal temperature is 4.5 degrees Celsius or lower.
In severe cold wave conditions, a departure from normal temperature is 6.5 degrees or lower. Delhi has recorded five cold wave days so far this month.
There is an increased likelihood of various illnesses like flu, running nose, or nosebleed which usually set in or gets aggravated due to prolonged exposure to cold.
What does IMD’s advice?
IMD said “Don’t drink alcohol. It reduces your body temperature,” the advisory read. “Get indoors. Eat vitamin-C-rich fruits and moisturize your skin regularly to counter the effects of severe cold.”
Kuldeep Srivastava is the head of the regional forecasting centre of the IMD
He told PTI that the mercury will increase slightly on Sunday and Monday under the influence of a fresh Western Disturbance affecting the upper reaches of the Himalayas, but the relief will be short-lived.
How does alcohol affect the body?
- Alcohol is a vasodilator, which means that it causes blood vessels to relax and dilate or open.
- So, after consuming alcohol, the volume of blood brought to the skin’s surface increases, making you feel warmer as a result.
- This is also what causes an intoxicated person to look flushed.
- As the body begins to believe that it is warm, you also start to sweat — a reaction that automatically reduces overall body temperature.
- Drinking copious amounts of alcohol may affect your body’s ability to detect the cold properly, which is in place to protect you from frostbite and hypothermia.
However, experts suggest that drinking moderately in temperate environments does not significantly affect the core temperature of the body.