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What is heat index?

Published On: Jul 27 2011 01:03:43 PM CDT

Heat index (HI) is sometimes referred to as the "apparent Temperature".

This is an index that combines air temperature and relative humidity in an attempt to determine the human-perceived equivalent temperature or how hot it feels.

The human body normally cools itself by perspiration, or sweating, which evaporates and carries heat away from the body.

However, when the relative humidity is high, the evaporation rate is reduced, so heat is removed from the body at a lower rate causing it to retain more heat than it would in dry air.

Measurements have been taken based on subjective descriptions of how hot subjects feel for a given temperature and humidity, allowing an index to be made which relates one temperature and humidity combination to another at a higher temperature in drier air.

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