You may hear meteorologists talk about the "feels-like" temperature quite often during the summer.
So, what is this "feels-like" temperature? It is the heat index. It combines the actual air temperature and the amount of moisture, or humidity, in the air.
The higher the humidity and the higher the temperature, the hotter it actually feels to your body.
When you sweat and the humidity is low, your body is able to cool itself down through evaporation as sweat leaves your skin.
For example, think about when you get out of the shower and the air inside your house is dry. The water evaporates, leaving you feeling a bit chilly.
The same happens when you’re outside exercising or working.
During the hotter months of the year, it becomes tougher for your body to cool down because of the higher humidity.
When dew point temperatures (a measurement of the amount of moisture in the air) start to exceed 75 degrees, the air feels oppressive the moment you step outside.
Combine that high humidity with our Central Florida summertime heat, which is typically in the lower to middle 90s, and the heat index or the “feels-like” temperature will often exceed 100 degrees.
This high humidity prevents your body from being able to cool itself down through evaporating of your sweat.
If your body can’t cool itself, you’ll start to use more energy and potentially overwork yourself to the point that you suffer from heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.
That’s why it’s always important to remember the heat safety tips, such as drinking water, taking breaks in the air conditioning or shade, wearing lightweight clothing and not overexerting yourself during the peak heating of the day in the afternoon.
Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the U.S.
A study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found an average of 702 heat-related deaths each year between 2004 and 2018.
It is important to remember to take frequent breaks when working outside. Be sure to stay away from sugary drinks and stick to water when in the heat. Also, it is best to wear lightweight and light-colored clothing. Be sure to look before you lock and check the back seat - never leave kids or pets in a vehicle for any length of time.