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Wet Bulb Globe Temperature

The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) is a composite temperature used to estimate the effect of temperature, humidity, and solar radiation on humans. It is used by industrial hygienists, athletes, and the military to determine appropriate exposure levels to high temperatures. It is derived from the following formula:

WBGT = 0.7Tw + 0.2Tg + 0.1Td


Indoors, or when solar radiation is negligible, the following formula is used:

WBGT = 0.7Tw + 0.3Tg

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists publishes threshold limit values (TLVs) that have been adopted by many governments for use in the workplace. The process for determining the WBGT is also described in ISO 7243, Hot Environments - Estimation of the Heat Stress on Working Man, Based on the WBGT Index.

In hot areas, some US military installations display a flag to indicate the heat category based on the WBGT. The military publishes guidelines for water intake and physical activity level for acclimated and unacclimated individuals in different uniforms based on the heat category.

CategoryWBGT °FFlag color
1<=79.9No flag

The WBGT index was developed by the United States Marine Corps at Parris Island in 1956 to reduce heat stress injuries in recruits and has been revised several times.

The heat index used by the National Weather Service and the humidex used by the Meteorological Service of Canada are also measures of perceived heat, but they do not account for solar radiation.


  • Air Force Pamphlet 48-151
  • U.S. Army Technical Bulletin Medical 507/Air Force Pamphlet 48-152
  • Zunis Foundation background article

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Wet_Bulb_Globe_Temperature". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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