National Weather Service Heat Index Program
The National Weather Service has stepped up its efforts to alert more effectively the general public and appropriate authorities to the hazards of heat waves -- those prolonged excessive heat/humidity episodes.
Based on the latest research findings, the NWS has devised the "Heat Index" (HI), (sometimes referred to as the "apparent temperature"). The HI, given in degrees Fahrenheit, is an accurate measure of how hot it really feels when the relative humidity (RH) is added to the actual air temperature.
To find the Heat Index, look at the Heat Index Chart. As an example, if the air temperature is 95°F (found on the left side of the table), and the relative humidity is 55% (found at the top of the table), the HI -- or how hot it really feels -- is 110°F. This is at the intersection of the 95° row and the 55% column.
Important: Since HI values were devised for shady, light wind conditions, exposure to full sunshine can increase HI values by up to 15°F. Also, strong winds, particularly with very hot, dry air, can be extremely hazardous.
Note on the HI chart the shaded zone above 105°F. This corresponds to a level of HI that may cause increasingly severe heat disorders with continued exposure and/or physical activity.
Heat kills by taxing the human body beyond its abilities. In a normal year, about 175 Americans succumb to the demands of summer heat. Among the large continental family of natural hazards, only the cold of winter -- not lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or earthquakes -- takes a greater toll. In the 40-year period from 1936 through 1975, nearly 20,000 people were killed in the United States by the effects of heat and solar radiation. In the disastrous heat wave of 1980, more than 1,250 people died.
And those are the direct causalities. No one can know how many more deaths are advanced by heat wave weather -- how many diseased or aging hearts surrender, that under better conditions would have continued functioning.
North American summers are hot; most summers see heat waves in one section or another of the United States. East of the Rockies, they tend to combine both high temperatures and high humidity although some of the worst have been catastrophically dry.
Heat Disorder Symptoms and First Aid
DETAILED LOCAL WEATHER
BECKLEY | BLUEFIELD | BUCKHANNON | CHARLESTON
CLARKSBURG | ELKINS | HUNTINGTON | LEWISBURG | MARTINSBURG
MORGANTOWN | PARKERSBURG | PETERSBURG | PINEVILLE
POINT PLEASANT | SUTTON | WHEELING
Home | Eyewitness News Newsroom | Storm Team Weather | Eyewitness Sports | Schedules | Programs
Copyright ©2013, WCHS-TV8. Portions may be
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.
WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.