How to interpret operating temperature limit?

This is specifically regarding WD4003FZEX, but could apply to any drive.

Per the specifications, the maximum operating temperature is 55 degrees Celsius. Is that the maximum ambient temperature in which the drive should be operated?

I have been observing the S.M.A.R.T. temperature readings, and it’s typically 53-54 degrees Celsius. Pretty warm, although still within the limit. I’m wondering if that’s okay. The ambient temperature in the room is around 26-27 Celsius; however the drive is in an external enclosure which does not have any active cooling.

Thanks for any definitive guidance.

Cooler is generally better, if I didn’t use it more than just occasionally I’d be tempted to get an enclosure with a fan, or one of these USB top-loading drive “docks” that lets most of the drive hang out in open air (and makes it easy to swap out as a bonus).

Not sure how helpful it would be but could also look into applying heat sinks to the drive with thermal adhesive (of course don’t cover up any screws or holes that shouldn’t be, and ensure bare metal for the best heat transfer), though that may not be worth the trouble.