Black Globe Temperature Estimate for the WBGT Index

  • Vincent E. Dimiceli
  • Steven F. Piltz
  • Steve A. Amburn
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 170)


The wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) index is used in industry, sports and other areas to indicate the heat stress level for humans and animals. One of the values needed to calculate the WBGT Index is the black globe temperature. The black globe temperature is measured using a Black Globe Temperature Sensor which includes a black globe with a thermometer inserted in the center. However, the Black Globe Temperature Sensor can be costly and many of these instruments may be needed to get measurements in many locations. The lead author has derived a formula to estimate the black globe temperature using readily available data collected by the National Weather Service (NWS). The formula was derived from a formula suggested by Kuehn, which was based on heat transfer theory. The resulting equation was a fourth degree polynomial in terms of the black globe temperature. It was determined that the black globe temperature can be very accurately approximated by taking a fourth degree polynomial in terms of the black globe temperature to create a linear approximation for black globe temperature. Some preliminary tests indicate accuracy within 0.5 °F.


Black globe Heat index Heat safety Heat stress Temperature measurement Wet bulb globe temperature 



The authors would like to thank Bruce Sherbon of NOAA for his construction of an inexpensive Black Globe Temperature Sensor. The authors would also like to thank Jamie Frederick of NOAA for programming the web page to calculate the WBGT Index. Finally, V. E. Dimiceli would like to thank Glenn Wiley of NOAA for helping V. E. Dimiceli to get a research sabbatical at NOAA/NWS in the fall of 2010.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent E. Dimiceli
    • 1
  • Steven F. Piltz
    • 2
  • Steve A. Amburn
    • 2
  1. 1.Oral Roberts UniversityTulsaUSA
  2. 2.National Oceanic and atmospheric AdministrationNational Weather Service Forecast OfficeTulsaUSA

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