Heat Warning Systems

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Heat Warning Systems
Heat Warning Systems

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Why heat wave warnings are falling short in the U.S.

To capture the real impact of a heat wave, the National Weather Service uses its heat index. It portrays what the temperature and humidity really "feel like" to the human body. So if the temperature is 88 degrees and the humidity is at 75%, it really feels like 103 degrees. The calculations are based on seminal research from 1979, which models how humans physiologically handle heat. But the equations leave out an important factor: sunlight. The heat index only shows what temperatures feel like in the shade, without the added heat from standing in the sun... That means the heat index isn't applicable for outdoor workers, sports teams and other groups who must spend hours in the sun. Using the…

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 Why heat wave warnings are falling short in the U.S.

As heat waves get more frequent, longer and more intense with climate change, disaster experts say the country's current heat warning system is falling short. Many heat waves are deceptively deadly, but traditional weather forecasts often don't capture the full extent of the risk.

Heat Forecast Tools

The following tools can inform the issuance of NWS official heat watches, warnings, and advisories. Each of these tools integrate other weather parameters to provide a deeper level of information beyond what the actual air temperature can tell us.

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