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Getting beat by the heat!

Getting beat by the heat!

by Ben Pine

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 12, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 12 at 3:09 PM

I spent a few summers in Augusta, Georgia, and this is as bad or worse right now!  My run today started out fine, but by the end I was just sucking air!  And the air, wow, felt like you could bite into it, it is so thick!  Basically, a good sweat! 

It's great that our human bodies were intelligently designed with sweat glands to cool us off, but our problem today is a lack of evaporation.  It's not the sweat that cools us off, it's the evaporation of that sweat.  It's called evaporational cooling in meteorology.  However, if the humidity is high with high dew points in the 70s like they are now, very little evaporation is taking place, thus you stay hot and could possibly overheat.  During the evaporation process, water takes heat from the air to break the molecular bonds of H20, this work being done allows the surrounding air to cool off a bit.  It's a nice thing when it works.

This is one of the reasons the National Weather Service is now issuing statements like this:  "Use caution if you have outdoor activities planned in this hot muggy weather.  Wear light colored, loose-fitted clothing and drink plenty of liquids.  Do not over exert yourself doing outdoor activities.  Take plenty of breaks, preferably in the shade or indoors."

With dew points in the mid 70s, even if the actual temperature may only be in the mid to upper 80s, the heat index can still soar to the mid 90s.  Around the area today we've been combining temperatures around 90 with the high humidity, shooting the heat index to the upper 90s, even to 102 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky today!  So, take care out there.  The last thing we want to hear about is heat related illnesses happening, so stay cool over the next several days as our muggy wave continues.   

Tell us how you are beating the heat this weekend, and send us photos to the YouNews section of WHAS11.com.  Got any "It's so muggy" jokes, feel free to comment and maybe I'll use the clean ones on-air tonight!  I'll get you started, "It's so muggy, my deodorant took they day off!"  Sorry, that's the best I could come up with on short notice, please do better!

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