Heat index and how it works


TERRE HAUTE, IND. (WTHI) – With the wrath of summer, temperatures can get pretty hot, but mixing that with humidity, it can get dangerous outside.

When we get outside for the summer we have to worry about the heat index. So like wind chill in the winter, heat indices are a concern come summer.

This is how it works, when you combine the temperature outside with the current relative humidity, you get an apparent temperature that can reach dangerous levels.

For example (using a detailed formula), if it’s 90 degrees outside with a 70 percent relative humidity, it acts like 105 degrees to your body.

This is because your body operates like this; when you’re outside mowing or just enjoying the sun the body heats up and you cool yourself off by sweating. On a dry day, sweat evaporates and cools the skin by drawing heat form your body. However, on a day that we contain moisture, sweat doesn’t evaporate as quickly. And we’ve all felt this, but it leaves our bodies feeling hot and sticky.

When we discuss heat index in our forecast we want you to know how it works, because heat can lead to heat-related illness quickly.

Heat is one of the leading weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year.

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