Hotter temperatures are coming to the Valley, and so are hotter heat indexes. It’s been a main topic of discussion in Youngstown area weather for after the Labor Day weekend. What is the heat index, and how will it impact you over the next few days?

What is the heat index?

According to the National Weather Service, the heat index measures how hot it feels when you factor relative humidity in with the actual temperature. In other words, it’s the apparent temperature your body feels on a warm day.

Over the next few days, high temperatures across the Valley will be in the 90s. That means heat indexes are expected to feel warmer than that. You can find the heat index for a given temperature and relative humidity using the chart below.

Courtesy of the National Weather Service

Upcoming temperatures and heat indexes in the Valley

The highest temperatures during the day will coincide with the highest heat indexes. Looking at Labor Day, high temperatures will be reached around 4 in the afternoon. Several places around the Valley will reach the low 90’s.

When comparing that to Monday’s heat index at the same time, heat indexes are expected to be a few degrees warmer. Places that have high temperatures in the low 90’s have heat indexes in the mid 90’s.

For example, at 4 in the afternoon on Labor Day in Youngstown when the actual temperature is expected to be 91°, the heat index says it will feel like it’s 96°.

Impacts of high heat indexes

High temperatures and heat indexes can have an impact on your body’s comfort. Your body may have difficulty cooling down if you’re in the heat for too long, which could lead to heat related illnesses.

If you’re going to be out in the heat for Labor Day, the National Weather Service suggests several things to stay cool:

  • Reduce strenuous activity
  • Dress in lightweight clothing
  • Minimize direct sun exposure
  • Drink lots of water
  • Take breaks in air conditioning if possible