EDEN's Ready Tips

EDEN's Ready Tips > Posts > Humid + Muggy = Humugity
Sun with steam cloud.gif
Every time I've stepped outdoors the last few days, I imagined that I stepped into a room in which someone was pouring water on hot rocks. It's hot, steamy, and hard to breathe. But I'm not really in a saunaI'm just in Central Alabama on a summer day.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), one or more parts of the United States will experience a heat wave each summer. Heat waves in our part of the country tend to combine high temperatures with high humidity.
Heat alerts are issued by the NWS Forecast office. These alerts include
  • Excessive Heat Outlooks are issued when there is potential for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days.  The outlook (forecast) is based on the combination of temperature and humidity over the specified period of days.
  • Excessive Heat Watches are issued when conditions are favorable in the next 24 to 72 hours.
  • Excessive Heat Warning/Advisories are issued when an excessive heat even is occurring, is imminent or has a very high probability of occurring. The warning is used when conditions pose a threat to life. An advisory is issued for less serious conditions that can cause significant discomfort that may lead to life-threatening conditions if precautionary measures aren’t taken. 

All three types of alert are based on Heat Index (HI) values. The Heat Index is a measure of how hot it feels when relative humidity (RH) is added to the actual air temperature.  For example, if the air temperature is 80° F and the relative humidity is 70%, the Heat Index (how it feels) is 83° F, and if the air temperature is 90° F and the relative humidity is 70%, the Heat Index is 105° F. If you’re in the sun, these temperatures may feel up to 15 degrees hotter.


As hot as it might be outside, car interiors and other unventilated spaces get even hotter. Dark dashboards and car seats contribute to the heating of cars. The sun on an 80° F day can heat the interior of a car to 123° F in one hour.  Interior surfaces directly exposed to the sun can be even hotter.

Keep children, disabled adults, and pets safe
  • Make sure safety seats and safety belt buckles are not too hot before securing children in the car.
  • Never leave children, disabled adults, or pets unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down.
  • Teach children not to play in, on, or around vehicles.
  • Always lock car doors and trunks—even at home. Keep keys out of children’s reach.
  • Always make sure all children have left the car when you reach your destination. Don’t ever leave sleeping children in the car.
Extremely hot and humid weather affects our bodies’ ability to cool. Young children and older adults are very susceptible to heat illnesses. Other conditions that can make some people more susceptible to heat are obesity, fever, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, prescription drug and alcohol use, and sunburn. Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke (sunstroke). Heat stroke can result in death.

Heat safety tips

  • Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest part of the day. Anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
  • Eat cooler foods such as salads and fruit. Meat and other proteins increase metabolic heat and increase water loss.
  • Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated drinks.  Even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink plenty of fluids—they help your body keep cool.
  • Don’t get too much sun. Sunburn reduces your body’s ability to lose heat.
  • Don’t take salt tablets unless specified by your physician.
  • Spend more time in air-conditioned places. If you don’t have an air-conditioner, go to a library, store or other location with air conditioning for part of the day.

Resource: Heat: A Major Killer (NWS)


There are no comments for this post.