We all know that the heat this summer is ridiculous. Here in California, we are seeing temperatures at or around 100+ degrees Fahrenheit. Thankfully, we have days that we have seen temperatures drop a few degrees, unlike Phoenix. There, temperatures stayed at or above 110 degrees for almost a record-breaking 19 days! Death Valley hit 128 degrees, and overseas in China, they set their all-time high at 126 degrees. The weather is crazy!
According to the Washington Post, in places like the Middle East, the "heat index" reached 152 degrees, “…nearing — or surpassing — levels thought to be the most intense the human body can withstand.”
Now, the "heat index" is different than temperature. It wasn't really '152 degrees' in the Middle East.
So, what is the heat index?
The heat index is a measure of how hot it really feels outside when humidity and other factors are considered along with the temperature. For example, if the temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 50% humidity, then the heat index is 118 degrees. It feels like 118 degrees but really it's 100 degrees.
The heat index maxes out at 136 degrees, and as you can see the Middle East went far higher.
These kinds of temperatures can surpass the body's capacity to control its own internal temperature. Thank goodness for air conditioning if you have air conditioning; otherwise, sweating is the natural way the body can cool itself down.
Sweating cools the body down only if the sweat evaporates, turning it from a liquid to a vapor. If sweat stays a liquid and pools on the skin, that is a sign of dehydration, thus not cooling the body naturally.
In temperatures where it is hot, we may feel cooler because our body is doing the cooling for us, along with other factors like the amount of humidity, wind speed, time of day, and shade.