Can the Midwest be more humid than the Gulf Coast?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
You recently said that the Midwest could be more humid than the Gulf Coast. That’s only in the summer, right?

Bob Dekas Chicago

Dear Bob,
Annually, the Gulf Coast is the hands-down winner for uncomfortable humidity, with dew points occasionally reaching the muggy upper 60s and lower 70s in winter and regularly residing in the 70s and lower 80s in summer. Midwest dew points climb into the 70s, several times each summer, when tropical air masses invade. However, moisture from plants is returned to the atmosphere in a process called evapotranspiration. In the peak of the Midwest growing season, 2.5 acres of corn can add about 9,000 gallons of water to the atmosphere each day. This results in a huge amount of moisture being added to the air resulting in exceptionally high dew points, occasionally reaching the middle and upper 80s.

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