Welcome to another heat wave. Triple-digit temperatures on tap for Southern California, with the mercury soaring well above 90 degrees.
For those not living in the know, when you cross an imaginary line and hit the triple digits, you get the term “heat index.” It’s a measure of how hot things are, and has been used for centuries in the United States. It’s important to note this heat index only applies to the sky. The temperature at street level also makes its mark as a heat index.
Here’s what’s happening as we move toward our hot summer’s peak:
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services will be adding up what the department calls a “heat index” today, and they expect to have the data soon.
The data will be used to determine when advisories are issued, when it’s time for the county health department to issue its own, citywide heat warnings and, finally, when to declare a public health emergency.
“It’s important for these messages to come in the heat of the day, in the heat of the week,” said L.A. County public health officer Dr. John Carr.
That’s why the health department is using data collected since 2000, which has been gathered through air quality indices and the heat index, to calculate the current heat and humidity index which should be released at around noon today.
If you’re wondering what all that means, here’s a sample of the heat index map showing what Los Angeles will face today:
It’s important to note that the county is calculating the index based on the weather conditions at 8 a.m. It’s an approximation to how hot things will be later, but it will give them some guidance as to the severity of the heat, and how to approach a public health emergency.
The heat index map may seem a little different in places such as L.A. County, Santa Monica and Santa Barbara, but