Great to be back after a week off, but I can’t take credit for bringing the more comfortable air. It was even hotter and stickier in Minnesota and Iowa on my family vacation. It is so nice to be back in Wisconsin with dew points in the 50s as opposed to the 70s. Spent a great morning at the State Fair and I think with the size of the crowds everyone was waiting for a nice day to go to the fair.
After almost a week’s worth of 70 degree dew points, take a look at the wonderful surface maps below.
I’ll start nationally. Notice the much drier air working from northwest to southeast. If you are wondering where to go for really dry air, head to the deserts of Nevada with dew points around 0 degrees. That sounds good, but the air temperature is over 100. Now, let’s check in a bit closer to Wisconsin.
Click on the image to zoom in. The red number is the air temperature. The black number below that is the dew point. As you probably know by now, dew points in the 50s are much more comfortable than dew points in the 70s. The reason is because of something known as evaporative cooling. When water evaporates, it cools the surrounding area. Most of us know this when getting out of the shower and immediately feeling cold. That cold is not just caused by getting into a cooler area, but also by the water on your body evaporating as you move into drier air outside of the shower.
In the summertime, our bodies sweat to cool down. The sweat evaporates and that cools us down to regulate our body temperature. This cooling process is much more productive when the dew points are lower. The higher the dew point, the less the sweat will evaporate. If you have ever visited Phoenix or Las Vegas in the summer, you probably realize that your body sweats, but it evaporates almost immediately. Last week, when our dew points were in the 70s, the sweat has a hard time evaporating.
Enjoy the comfortable air this week. It gets a little stickier by Thursday. Have a wonderful day.