It's not just the heat it's the humidity - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

It's not just the heat it's the humidity

The Heat Index forecast for the next few days The Heat Index forecast for the next few days

Another round of hot weather is gripping the Mid-South.  High temperatures this week have been in the lower nineties but now temperatures will inch up into the mid-nineties for much of the area. These warm temperatures will combine with the humidity in place to push the heat index into the triple digits.  Through the weekend and into the beginning of next week, heat index reading will range from 102-105 degrees.

The heat index is an index combining temperature and relative humidity to give a perceived temperature to the human body. In other words, when it's hot and humid the actual air temperature may be one number but you body feels as if it's warmer. In an effort to cool itself the human body then produces sweat in an effort to wick away the heat.  As the sweat evaporates it removes heat from your body, but if the humidity is high enough then the evaporation process is greatly limited and the sweat remains on your body. This becomes a greater problem when the heat index exceeds 105 degrees. When the heat index is expected to exceed the 105 degree point, the National Weather Service will often issue a Heat Advisory or Excessive Heat Warning. This is to advise you to use extreme caution outdoors or away from air conditioned locations. The best thing to do when the heat index reaches that point is to stay indoors and well hydrated. This weekend the heat index will be near that threshold, so if you do plan on spending time outdoors, do use caution. Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing. Drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks from the outdoors into an air conditioned area. This will allow your body to stay cool and avoid heat stroke or dehydration. Also, be sure to check on your elderly friends, neighbors, and relatives to make sure they are staying cool and hydrated too. And, don't forget your pets. They don't produce sweat. Dogs and cats pant to reduce body heat. Make sure they have plenty of water and a well-shaded area to relax and if possible, let them stay inside and enjoy the AC.

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