Feeling muggy? That's because the dew point's at a high — and rising

Feeling muggy? That's because the dew point's at a high — and rising

Yes, it's hot out there, but it's also icky and muggy. The dew point, a measure of how much moisture is in the atmosphere, is rising rapidly and, frankly, making everything uncomfortable. Here's a closer look, courtesy of The News-Gazette's VISHESH ANAND:

Burnout incoming

The dew point in East Central Illinois has risen to unprecedented levels for this time of the year, according to state climatologist Jim Angel. "Degree of comfort and safety has been affected; there's a higher risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke," he says.

Clammy climate

According to the Illinois Water Survey, the average dew point this monthstands at 67.1 degrees — the highest on record for June. Typically, Angel says, we are used to the high 50s or low 60s. What we're experiencing right now is more characteristic of July.

Heat of the moment

The hottest day? June 29, which saw an average dew point of 75.4 degrees. At 3 p.m., it breached the 80-degree threshold and was only two clicks behind the all-time high, according to Angel. "It makes it harder for our body to cool off," he added.

Incendiary force

Champaign-Urbana is surrounded by corn and soybean fields, crops that are good at bringing out the moisture from the ground and into the atmosphere, Angel explains. Additionally, agriculture is becoming more efficient and the number of plants per acre is increasing — contributing to the heat.

Sections (3):News, Local, Weather
Topics (1):Environment