How is the temperature really reported?

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Every morning when you wake up to watch “Good Morning Nashville” on News 2, you are looking for a couple of things in the weather report – will it rain and how high will the temperature be?

Answering the first question is easy, but sometimes it is difficult to describe the temperature because there are many factors in play.

When humidity is involved, throw everything out the window. Even temperatures in the 80s could “feel” like 100 degrees with high humidity.

More importantly, is how temperatures are actually recorded. Numbers you see either current or forecasted are temperatures in full shade. Yes, in the shade. Temperatures are not recorded in direct sunlight.

Thermometers are sensitive and to give you a real sense of the actual air temperature, or in a more technical term, the “ambient” temperature, shade is used because there are no other outside influences, including solar radiation, or the sun.

For example, if the official thermometer reading at the Nashville airport reads 90 degrees, that is in full sun. If you were to step out in full sunshine, the temperature influenced by the sun will make it feel 10 to 15 degrees hotter. More like 100 to 105 degrees without accounting for humidity.

When you make outdoor plans on a sunny day, add a few more degrees than what the forecast calls for.

For tips on how to stay cool during the heat, check out our Summer Weather Safety Series, click here.

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