128 A Web-Based Tool to Forecast Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature for Populations Who Engage in Exertional Outdoor Activities

Monday, 7 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Darrian Bertrand, State Climate Office of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC; and C. E. Konrad, J. Clark, and A. R. Ward

Handout (2.6 MB)

Wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) provides a measure of human heat stress that is based on the natural wet bulb temperature (evaporative potential), ambient air (dry bulb temperature), and black globe temperature (radiant heat). Unlike heat index, which uses temperature and humidity to assess conditions in the shade, WBGT accounts for the effects of wind speed and solar radiation on the human body. WBGT is directly applicable to populations who are engaged in exertional activities, including athletes, outdoor workers, and military personnel. Despite its potential, there is very little WBGT monitoring, owing to a lack of WBGT devices and challenges in accurately estimating WBGT from standard meteorological variables. To address this need, the State Climate Office of North Carolina is collaborating with the Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC) and the Carolinas Integrated Science and Assessments program to develop a web-based tool for estimating WBGT across North Carolina. The publicly accessible tool provides hourly estimates of WBGT in a time series format using an algorithm that inputs meteorological variables from the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD). The user can view WBGT forecasts over a 5-day time frame to make informed decisions about when to schedule exertional outdoor activities. Currently, we are validating the algorithm utilized by the tool and making refinements to the user interface in response to feedback garnered from users in a pilot project.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner