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(2,910 posts)
2. Heat index is useful but wet bulb
Fri Nov 17, 2023, 12:10 PM
Nov 2023

is a better indication of the impact on living things at temperature extremes. Wet bulb temperature is what a thermometer clad in a wet cloth sees. It allows for the effect of humidity.

I wrote a thread a few months ago about wet bulb temps in Iran nudging the human-lethal point. I didn't find any reports on fatalities; I guess the mullahs kept that quiet, since their power depends on fossil fuel. But ocean temperatures in the Persian Gulf hit 100F - providing a bad combination of heat and humidity.

There's a wiki on recent wet-bulb temperature events. It omits the 2023 Iran event, which recorded a wet bulb of 33.7C at an airport. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet-bulb_temperature
from the wiki:
"It has been thought that a sustained wet-bulb temperature exceeding 35 °C (95 °F)—given the body's requirement to maintain a core temperature of about 37°C—is likely to be fatal even to fit and healthy people, unclothed in the shade next to a fan; at this temperature human bodies switch from shedding heat to the environment, to gaining heat from it."

The elderly, sick, weak, and poor die sooner.

Some recent wet-bulb temperature events (from the wiki; more are listed):
36.3 Ras Al Khaimah City, Ras Al Khaimah UAE
36.2 Jacobabad, Sindh Pakistan
36 Mecca Saudi Arabia
35.8 Hisar, Haryana India
35.6 Yannarie, Western Australia Australia
35.4 Villahermosa, Tabasco Mexico
35.1 [unnamed location], Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan
35 Maracaibo Venezuela
35 Matlapa, San Luis Potosi Mexico
35 Choix, Sinaloa Mexico

Things are cookin'

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