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Sweaty weather: How humidity, dew point contribute to Tucson's sticky swelter

Posted at 8:36 AM, Jun 25, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. — It's that time of year... the time to track dew point and humidity!

As the monsoon grips Southern Arizona, residents are feeling the effects, like sticky shirts and increased sweat, of increased humidity and higher dew point levels.

To get a better understanding of these meteorological phenomena KGUN 9'S weather forecaster, Cuyler Diggs explained the science behind the sticky conditions.

Diggs clarified that there is a distinction between humidity and dew point.

Humidity is a familiar term to many, but it's the dew point that more accurately measures our comfort level and the likelihood of rain.

"When the dew point reaches around 55 or 60, it’s a good indicator of possible rain showers and that sticky feeling," Diggs said.

He emphasized the importance of monitoring the dew point, particularly during monsoon season when temperatures soar into the 90s.

High dew points can lead to rapid heat exhaustion, making hydration and sun protection critical.

For those relying on swamp coolers, understanding humidity levels is essential.

"Swamp coolers depend on the humidity level for optimal functioning," Diggs said.

This is why many opt for air conditioning during humid months, as it provides more effective cooling.

As Tucson endures the sticky monsoon season, staying informed about humidity and dew point levels can help residents manage the sweltering conditions more effectively.