What is a heat index?

VIDEO: What is a heat index?

Quick Facts:

  • Understanding heat in Green Country can be helpful
  • Heat Index is a measure of how hot it feels when the humidity is factored in

In the summer, the FOX23 Severe Weather Team mentioned the Heat Index and just how hot it will feel for any outdoor plans.

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The higher the humidity for a given temperature, the higher the Heat Index. Check out this chart from the National Weather Service:




With this chart, you can find the heat index. Find the intersection of the closest temperature (top axis) to what it is outside, and the relative humidity (left axis).

It is important to remember that those numbers are typically in shady areas with a light wind. If a location is in direct sunlight, this can increase the heat index value by up to 15°F.

It isn't just sunshine and light winds that can make it feel hotter than it really is. Strong winds with very hot, dry air can be extremely hazardous as well.

Based on which category the heat index is in, the National Weather Service will issue different alerts like a Heat Watch, Excessive Heat Warning, and a Heat Advisory.

Understanding the different alerts that come out will also help you prepare for the heat. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can happen and there are several signs to look out for including nausea, change in skin conditions and muscle cramps.

Staying hydrated and wearing light-colored clothing can also help you stay safe during the summer heat.