What is Heat Index?

Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 1:23 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - On a hot, sunny days meteorologists have to look at more than just the air temperature, they have to look at the humidity as well, to determine what temperature it feels like to your exposed skin.

We are in a stretch of some of the hottest temperatures so far this summer in the QCA.

It’s not just the heat, it’s the humidity.

That is why you hear the First Alert Weather team talk about the feels-like temperature, also known as the heat index.

You may also hear meteorologists refer to it as the apparent temperature. It’s an accurate measure of how hot it really feels when the relative humidity is added to the actual air temperature.

Most of the time we will talk about humidity in the form of a dew point temperature, which is a more accurate way to describe humidity, because relative humidity is just that, relative.

For example, 100% humidity at 85° is different than 100% humidity at 45 degrees.

The higher the dew point temperature, the more moisture present in the air. 90-degrees with a dew point of 65 degrees feels more uncomfortable than 90-degrees with a dew point of 55 degrees.