Weather 101: What is the heat index?

Digital Desk

This segment of weather 101 focuses on heat index.

It’s the middle of summer. Warm days with lots of humidity are commonplace in the Two Virginias.

Both temperature and humidity have an impact on what we actually feel. The combination of these two factors is known as the heat index.

Heat index values can never be lower than the air temperature. If it is 80 degrees with low humidity, it feels true to that 80 degree temperature. Once the humidity increases, it can feel quite a bit warmer outside.

With low humidity, your sweat evaporates quickly and this cools you down. It’s still hot, but you can regulate a more normal temperature. When the humidity is high, though, you cannot cool down as easily since it takes longer for your sweat to evaporate.

These are important factors in determining how to dress in the summer. Wearing light colored, lightweight clothing is a good idea. This will help you cool more efficiently.

If you get too hot, you can suffer from heat exhaustion or heatstroke. It is also important to stay hydrated in the summer heat.

Stay tuned for another segment of Weather 101 right here on our website.


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