Last year was the hottest year on record for planet Earth and prep is underway to make sure folks know when it's about to get toasty.

NBC News reports that both the CDC and NOAA have come up with new colors to add to a heat map. NOAA has teamed up with CDC to launch 'HeatRisk', which is designed to forecast potential heat risks 7 days in advance.

They've added a color that's worse than red on a heat risk map. You may be thinking pink. Nope.

"Magenta" That's Not Really Magenta

Here's an example of what it looks like (we're not actually frying here yet in Iowa, k?)


The new color to show the highest level of heat risk is purple. It's bright purple, but it's labeled on the index as 'magenta'.

The heat forecast is an important thing to know as NBC reports heat kills more people in the U.S. each year than any other extreme weather. The little blurb by magenta's color on the map says this:

Extreme - This level of rare and/or long-duration extreme heat with little to no overnight relief affects anyone without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration. Impacts likely in most health systems, heat-sensitive industries and infrastructure.

We had at least a week of what felt like that last summer. The HeatRisk map takes into consideration a few things when forecasting the heat risk for a week:

  • how unusual the heat is for the time of the year
  • duration of the heat in both day and night temps
  • if those temps could cause issues for people based off data from the CDC

So if you see a day where our forecast is "magenta", stay inside in the air conditioning, drink plenty of water, and wear light-colored clothes. If you need an excuse to skip a workout, say the map is magenta.

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