We already know that the Central New York area hit 90 degrees or better 15 days this summer, when the normal number is nine. It also seemed like this summer was also more muggier than normal. Well, we now have confirmation that the summer of 2018 was more muggy than usual. In fact, it was the muggiest summer in 45 years!
Central New York sweated through 531 hours when the dew point reached 70 degrees or better. The next closest muggiest summer was in 2005 when the dew point was 70 degrees or more for 207 hours. Last summer the number was 75! “This is more typical for the Gulf Coast States,” said Mark Wysocki, New York State climatologist.
The dew point, the standard measurement of humidity, is the temperature at which water condenses in the atmosphere. Dew points of 70 degrees or better are considered “oppressive” according to the National Weather Service. The higher the dew point, the harder it is for the human body to release heat through sweating.
According to Wysocki, this year was was bad because a large area of low pressure over the western part of the U.S. combined with a high pressure system that was located over the Great Lakes. Together, they pulled hot weather from the Plains and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico into the Northeast portion of the U.S. Lucky us, huh? Well there you have it. It was more muggier than normal this year, and now you know why!