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WeatherTalk: Hot and humid weather makes us thirsty

Hot and sticky weather always leaves us feeling, well, hot and sticky, and also thirsty.

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FARGO — When we humans are exposed to any combination of hot temperatures or high humidity, we become uncomfortable. The amazing human body is able to acclimate somewhat, given enough time and exposure, but hot and sticky weather always leaves us feeling, well, hot and sticky, and also thirsty. It is obvious why we have trouble keeping cool in the heat, but humidity is more complicated.

The external human body temperature is usually in the lower 70s Fahrenheit. So when the dew point is around 70 (that's humid), moisture that forms on the surface of the skin (sweat) is much slower to evaporate and provide the cooling from evaporation. We sweat but the sweat just makes us wet instead of evaporating and cooling us off. Either way (heat or humidity), our bodies are in a constant state of perspiring and we need to drink extra water to stay hydrated internally.

Related Topics: WEATHER
John Wheeler is Chief Meteorologist for WDAY, a position he has had since May of 1985. Wheeler grew up in the South, in Louisiana and Alabama, and cites his family's move to the Midwest as important to developing his fascination with weather and climate. Wheeler lived in Wisconsin and Iowa as a teenager. He attended Iowa State University and achieved a B.S. degree in Meteorology in 1984. Wheeler worked about a year at WOI-TV in central Iowa before moving to Fargo and WDAY..
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