(WKBN) – The Valley has seen large trends in temperature and humidity over the last seven days. The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport recorded its highest “feels like” temperature during the month of June in 75 years with a value of 104 during the afternoon on Wednesday.
The “feels like” temperature (also known as apparent temperature) is calculated using temperature and relative humidity, but why does more humidity equal a higher “feels like” temperature?
Sweat: Our bodies’ natural cooling mechanism
Many of you probably know that sweat is the mechanism the human body uses to cool itself, but you might not understand exactly how it works. The average temperature of the human body is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and when our body temperature starts to exceed this value, our cooling system kicks on like air conditioning in a home and we begin to sweat.
When sweat begins to form, the surrounding atmosphere works to evaporate the perspiration, which in turn, cools the body. This process is called “evaporative cooling” and is actually very common in the atmosphere as well.
You have probably noticed this process if you have ever been swimming on a windy day. When you get out of the pool, the wind assists in evaporating the water off of your skin, which can make it feel quite chilly until you dry off.
The relationship between heat and humidity
The process of evaporation is very effective with cooler temperatures and lower humidity values, which is why you do not sweat as much during the cooler months.
However, in the summer months, the energy from the sun intensifies and so does the air temperature. This alone causes our bodies to overheat, but add in humidity and it kicks our cooling system into overdrive. The moist air limits evaporation, which limits the efficiency of our bodies cooling mechanism, and that means more sweat!
This past Wednesday, the high temperature at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport was 93 degrees and relative humidity values where between 60-65%, which made it feel like temperatures were between 100-105 degrees outside.
Tips to beat the heat
If you are going to be participating in outdoor activities during the summer, here are a few tips you can use to beat the heat:
- Never leave pets/kinds inside a parked vehicle.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Give yourself plenty of breaks in the shade/AC after periods of strenuous activities.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Apply sunscreen rigorously.
You can plan for the heat and humidity by utilizing the Storm Team 27 seven-day forecast.