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How the Weather Forecaster Knows What It ‘Feels Like’ in Your City

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This piece from WIRED explores the science behind the ‘feels like’ temperature metric commonly used by meteorologists:

…Thanks perhaps to the invention of the thermostat, the way we experience temperature is well studied. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers maintains the standard for thermal comfort, drawn from a broad canon of peer-reviewed research. Some of it comes from physics: The human body burns a certain amount of energy a day, which is dissipated according to the surface area of their body. This can be measured through metabolism. But this doesn’t show what kind of temperature a person prefers.

Climate control research uses individuals’ physical discomfort as a feedback mechanism to generate its standards for ideal temperatures. But even indoors, temperature feels different to different people. Right now, I’m slightly shivering in a hoody zipped to my chin while an editor sitting directly behind me is working comfortably in a short sleeve shirt. Obviously, things get way more complicated outside.

Read more.


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