What is the heat index?

6 Storm Team Weather School

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Heat index takes into account the temperature and the humidity, the amount of water vapor in the air, and indicates how it feels on your skin. In addition, more sunshine outside will increase the heat index.

For example, if the air temperature is 92 degrees Fahrenheit, but there is the relative humidity is 55%, the heat index would be at 101 degrees, making it feel a little bit warmer outside and the air could feel sticky on your skin.

Lower humidity allows for the air to be drier. This means it is easier for moisture to evaporate on your body or sweat, which removes body heat and cool the body. Higher levels of humidity cause the air to be moister, limiting the evaporation which makes people feel uncomfortable outside and slowing the rate of your body’s ability to sweat.

When it’s a warm and kind of sticky day, stay hydrated and grab an extra bottle of water if you will be outside for prolonged periods of time. Also, wear loose, light clothing to allow your body to cool down and take frequent breaks when outside.

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