Extreme heat and humidity are putting athletes at greater health risk

Photo by Judy Griesdieck / Star Tribune

A combination of extreme heat and high humidity levels — commonly referred to as the “heat index” or the “feels like” temperature you see on your weather app — is increasingly placing athletes at risk as global average temperatures rise, according to a report released on August 21st by environmental science and news organization Climate Central. It studied data from 239 US cities and found that 83 percent of them have experienced an increase in the average number of days with heat indices above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which the report characterizes as “extreme heat days.”

The city that has seen the biggest jump is McAllen, Texas, where the number of annual extreme heat days has increased by 31.6 since 1979. It’s followed by Baton Rouge,…

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