You the heat in specific climates, mostly

You shiver when it is cold outside and sweat when it is hot outside, but how can you measure those weather temperatures? And did you know there are even other types of temperatures that can be measured? This lesson will look at all kinds of interesting temperature facts.


Temperature is a measure of heat. Heat is energy, so the more energy there is, the hotter something gets. This happens when you exercise really hard. How many times have you ended gym class and felt hot and sweaty? That’s because you used a lot of energy while running around and it increased your heat.

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Using a thermometer to take body temperature
These two thermometers show both Fahrenheit and Celsius scales
Temperature Thermometers

I know what you’re thinking! What about the temperature display in the car, or that thing that the doctor puts in my ear that beeps? Those are called digital thermometers. They have electric sensors that read the temperature and send the information to a tiny computer that displays the temperature.

Other Kinds of Temperature Measure

Did you know that actual temperature is not the only way temperature is measured? It’s true! There are some types of weather where we measure what it feels like outside. Let’s take a look at a couple of them.

Wind Chill Factor

Have you ever stepped out of the house on a cold windy day and thought ‘Wow I thought is was warmer outside?’ What you are feeling is called a wind chill, which is the measure of how cold it feels to us when it’s windy. It’s different than the actual temperature.

The temperature outside might be 50 degrees F, but if the wind is blowing like crazy, the wind chill might say it feels like 38 degrees F.

This chart helps measure the wind chill
Wind Chill Chart

Heat Index

Just like the wind can make the temperature feel colder than it really is, the combination of heat from the sun and humidity (moisture in the air), can make it feel much hotter outside than it really is. The heat index is what measures what this temperature feels like. Have you ever walked outside in the summer and immediately started sweating even though it was only 80 degrees F? That was caused by the humid heat making it feel much hotter.This heat is much different than a ‘dry heat,’ which is really just the heat minus the humidity, but is usually a special term to describe the heat in specific climates, mostly ‘dry’ areas or deserts.

Arizona is well-known for its dry heat.

Lesson Summary

Temperature is the measure of how much heat or energy something has. We use the scale of Fahrenheit (in the United States) and Celsius to indicate the temperature. We measure temperature using a thermometer, which can either have liquid or be digital.


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