We are in the thick of the summer season.
When it is hot in the Tri-State, more times than not, it remains quite steamy - even through the Labor Day holiday. The longer summer days can bring a ton of heat, and in this part of the country, the heat is usually coupled with humidity.
The oppressive humid air is not just exclusive to our communities. In fact, given the right conditions, locations as far north as Chicago and Minneapolis have experienced intense humidity that originates from the Gulf of Mexico. This moist and tropical air mass only targets the eastern half of the U.S., while out west, the hot temperatures are there but the humidity is usually absent.
Many people consider this a "dry" heat. Some may even prefer the dryness over the wet and humid heat, which we typically feel in the Tri-State.
With the summer conditions sticking around for now it begs the question -- what are the pros and cons of dry or wet heat?
The number one pro for dry heat is how it feels on your skin on warm days, especially if you are being active. Our normal body temperature is 98.6°. When our body temperature rises above that, we tend to sweat in order to release heat.
Since evaporation is a cooling process, we cool down when the sweat evaporates which is easier in dry heat. However, the lack of humidity can also make you feel the effects of dry mouth and dehydration sooner as compared to wet heat.
Although the drier heat may be more suited for hikers and athletes, the agricultural and gardening community relies on the warmth and humidity to keep our atmosphere prime for showers and storms. This is greatly beneficial for the growing season.
Regardless of wet or dry, heat remains number one in weather-related causes of injuries and fatalities. Safety precautions should always be practiced while spending time outdoors.