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New Wet Bulb Globe Temperature tool for VA, NC

Do you know what Wet Bulb Globe Temperature is? The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) is a measure of the heat stress in direct sunlight, which takes into account: temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover (solar radiation). This differs from the heat index, which takes into consideration temperature and humidity and is calculated for shady areas. If you work or exercise in direct sunlight, this is a good element to monitor. Military agencies, OSHA and many nations use the WBGT as a guide to managing workload in direct sunlight. Football coaches and park managers also keep an eye on this to monitor for extreme conditions that could cause heat stroke in practicing football players or outdoor workers (see https://www.nata.org/sites/default/files/environmentalmonitoringactivitymodifications.pdf for a slide show which describes how it is used in football practice monitoring).

The Southeast Regional Climate Center has a new calculator for WBGT online at https://convergence.unc.edu/tools/wbgt/. So far it is only for Virginia and North Carolina, but they are planning to make it available to the entire Southeast soon. For now, if you are in Georgia, you can get WBGT from the UGA Weather Network at http://www.georgiaweather.net/ and picking the closest station to your location. It will be on the list of current weather observations along with a flag to indicate if it is dangerous. If you do outdoor activities with students or adults, you will want to monitor WBGT to keep them safe in the heat. Once you put in your location, you can produce a graph which will show the predicted WBGT for the next several days, which will allow you to plan for when to practice or work outdoors to avoid the worst conditions. I will post an update once the tool is available for the entire Southeast.