Many Travelers on Uganda safaris have been wondering about the heat wave that hit the country some days back. One of our clients on a safari Uganda to Kibale National Park complained about the heat on his chimpanzee trekking safari Uganda that has burnt his skin. Not only them but everyone around the country has been facing this problem as witnessed on several social media posts around this heat issue since last week. As always, people advise each other on how to go about a problem. People continued to advise themselves on how to cope up with this heat wave, but all i know is the weather will not just change.
This heat effect has partly been as a result of the Equinox phenomenon that has happened today on the 21st March 2019. Due to the equinox phenomenon, this heat wave will continue to affect us even in the next 5 days. My quick advice is that you should stay indoors especially from 12pm-3pm daily. The temperatures are expected to fluctuate till 40 degrees Celsius. This can easily cause dehydration and sun stroke to people who may insisit walking in it.
What is equinox?
Equinox is a normal astronomical phenomenon that occurs twice a year. This equinox that people are talking about is simply the transition from the winter to spring, and this happens in March around 20th every year. It is more evident as you move further from the equator. The next equinox will take place in September around 22nd. In the northern hemisphere, the equinox in March is called the Vernal or Spring Equinox; the September equinox is called the Autumnal or Fall Equinox.
Equinox is a Latin word for equal night. At this time the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun. The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens.
The equinoxes are the only times when the subsolar point (the place on the Earth’s surface where the center of the Sun is exactly overhead) is on the Equator. The subsolar point crosses the Equator moving northward at the March equinox and moving southward at the September equinox.
The Solstices; How summer & winter happens
The summer solstice occurs at the moment the earth’s tilt toward from the sun is at a maximum. Therefore, on the day of the summer solstice, the sun appears at its highest elevation with a noontime position that changes very little for several days before and after the summer solstice. The summer solstice occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer, which is located at 23.5° latitude North, and runs through Mexico, the Bahamas, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India, and southern China. For every place north of the Tropic of Cancer, the sun is at its highest point in the sky and this is the longest day of the year.
The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, it occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, which is located at 23.5° south of the equator and runs through Australia, Chile, southern Brazil, and northern South Africa.