The potential benefits of location-specific biometeorological indexes

Ho Ting Wong*, Jinfeng Wang, Qian Yin, Si Chen, Poh Chin Lai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


It is becoming popular to use biometeorological indexes to study the effects of weather on human health. Most of the biometeorological indexes were developed decades ago and only applicable to certain locations because of different climate types. Merely using standard biometeorological indexes to replace typical weather factors in biometeorological studies of different locations may not be an ideal research direction. This research is aimed at assessing the difference of statistical power between using standard biometeorological indexes and typical weather factors on describing the effects of extreme weather conditions on daily ambulance demands in Hong Kong. Results showed that net effective temperature and apparent temperature did not perform better than typical weather factors in describing daily ambulance demands in this study. The maximum adj-R2 improvement was only 0.08, whereas the maximum adj-R2 deterioration was 0.07. In this study, biometeorological indexes did not perform better than typical weather factors, possibly due to the differences of built environments and lifestyles in different locations and eras. Regarding built environments, the original parameters for calculating the index values may not be applicable to Hong Kong as buildings in Hong Kong are extremely dense and most are equipped with air conditioners. Regarding lifestyles, the parameters, which were set decades ago, may be outdated and not suitable to modern lifestyles as using hand-held electrical fans on the street to help reduce heat stress are popular. Hence, it is ideal to have tailor-made updated location-specific biometeorological indexes to study the effects of weather on human health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1695-1698
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept 1


  • Ambulance
  • Biometeorological index
  • Health
  • Weather

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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