What does the ‘heat index’ really mean?

Weather

While tornadoes are not our biggest concern right now, it’s the heat that we’re more concerned about.

The “heat index” is a single value which takes both temperature and humidity into account. The higher the heat index, the hotter the weather feels outside.

Heat index is also known as the “apparent temperature,” or what the air feels like to your body. For example, a high temperature of 92 with high humidity levels can actually make it feel closer to 100 degrees to your body. When the body gets too hot, it begins to sweat to cool itself off. If the perspiration is not able to evaporate, the body cannot regulate its temperature.

When perspiration is evaporated off the body, it effectively reduces the body’s temperature. In other words, the human body feels warmer in humid conditions.

FOX44 Meteorologist Haley Fitzpatrick has more about the heat index in the video above.

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