Posted under Weather Glossary

What is the RealFeel Temperature?

Explaining AccuWeather's proprietary heat stress formula

By TWSE Explains

Updated on:

realfeel temperature

Weather forecasts provide valuable information about the expected temperature and weather conditions. However, the actual temperature can sometimes differ from what the thermometer indicates. This is where the “RealFeel Temperature” concept comes into play, a term created by AccuWeather. In this blog post, we’ll dive into what RealFeel temperature is, how it’s calculated, and why it’s important for understanding the weather around us. We will also compare it to the Heat Index, the official measurement used by the National Weather Service and others.

What is RealFeel Temperature?

The RealFeel Temperature, a trademark of AccuWeather, also known as Apparent Temperature or Feels-Like Temperature, accurately represents how the human body perceives temperature. It considers the actual air temperature and various environmental factors, such as humidity, wind, and sun exposure. Considering these additional elements, RealFeel Temperature better explains how we’ll feel when stepping outside.

AccuWeather’s RealFeel Temperature calculations consider several factors that influence the human body’s perception of temperature:

  • Air temperature: The basis of the calculation, air temperature is the most obvious factor when determining how hot or cold it feels.
  • Humidity: High humidity can make hot temperatures feel even hotter, as the increased moisture in the air makes it harder for sweat to evaporate, hindering our body’s natural cooling process.
  • Wind: Wind can either increase or decrease the RealFeel Temperature. In cold conditions, wind strips away the thin layer of warm air near our skin, making us feel colder. In hot conditions, wind aids in evaporating sweat and cooling us down, making the temperature feel more comfortable.
  • Solar radiation: Direct sunlight can dramatically affect our perception of temperature. When exposed to the sun, our bodies absorb radiant heat, making the environment feel warmer than the actual air temperature.
realfeel temperature

RealFeel Temperature vs. Heat Index

While both RealFeel Temperature and Heat Index aim to provide a better understanding of how the human body perceives temperature, there are differences between these two measurements:

Heat Index, used by the National Weather Service and other organizations, is a measure that combines air temperature and humidity to determine how hot it feels when the moisture in the air is taken into account. The Heat Index is mainly applicable during hot weather conditions, as it helps to estimate the risk of heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke. However, it does not account for other factors like wind and sun exposure.

On the other hand, AccuWeather’s RealFeel Temperature takes a more comprehensive approach by considering air temperature, humidity, wind, and solar radiation. This makes RealFeel Temperature applicable in a wider range of weather conditions, from hot and humid summer days to cold and windy winter nights.

Why is RealFeel Temperature Important?

Understanding the RealFeel Temperature, as defined by AccuWeather, is essential for several reasons:

  • Personal comfort: Knowing the RealFeel Temperature can help you make more informed decisions about how to dress and plan your day, ensuring you stay comfortable in various weather conditions.
  • Health and safety: In extreme temperatures, being aware of the RealFeel can help prevent heatstroke or hypothermia. Understanding how our bodies perceive the temperature allows us to take appropriate precautions to stay safe and healthy.
  • Outdoor activities and sports: Athletes and outdoor enthusiasts can use the RealFeel Temperature to plan and adjust their activities, ensuring optimal performance and reducing the risk of weather-related injuries.

The RealFeel temperature is an important tool that helps us better understand and adapt to our environment. By considering factors such as humidity, wind, and solar radiation, the RealFeel Temperature gives us a more accurate representation of how the weather will feel, allowing us to make better-informed decisions about our daily activities and overall well-being. So, the next time you check the weather forecast, watch the RealFeel Temperature to ensure you’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store.

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TWSE Explains

Articles written by The Weather Station Experts staff to help break down even the most complex weather topics.