Summer humidity means high wet-bulb globe temperatures

The Weather Authority

Article written by intern Brylee Faith Brown and Chief Meteorologist Jason Simpson.

You know temperatures are beginning to “heat up” when people begin referring to tomorrow as a “four-shirt day.” Consider four shirts the minimum when associating wardrobe with wet-bulb globe temperature extremes! 

What is a wet-bulb globe temperature? Glad you asked!  

It’s not the same as heat index… 

Wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) is a measurement of the heat stress on humans. Heat index only uses temperature and humidity. WBGT considers temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle, and solar radiation. 

Heat index is often called the “apparent temperature”: how your body perceives the heat. WBGT is estimated using multiple sensors to detect heat stress in direct sunlight.  

WBGT is of most concern during the hottest and most humid months of the summer.   

Seeing all the components examined, the WBGT is highly accurate and valuable to consider for people out in the heat.  

Wet-bulb globe temperatures exceeding 95 degrees are extremely dangerous. Your body absorbs excessive heat because the natural cooling of sweat is diminished. The heat can be fatal. Wet-bulb globe temperatures between 80-90 degrees are still considered dangerous after brief exposure, however frequent breaks from the sun make the heat bearable.  

Make yourself aware of these excessive temperatures well in advance and stay hydrated!  

For further research, check out the websites below.  

NWS (National Weather Service) Tulsa “WBGT” interactive forecast tool

University of Connecticut overview of “WBGT” monitoring:  

Keep up with heat, humidity and summer storms with WHNT.com’s Interactive Radar or swipe over to the radar feature on Live Alert 19! You can also get up-to-date, location-based alerts wherever you are on Live Alert 19. Download it today for iOS and Android.

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