Corn Sweat a contributing factor to increased heat and humidity - KMOV.com

Corn Sweat a contributing factor to increased heat and humidity

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Corn crop. Credit: KMOV Corn crop. Credit: KMOV

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – The weather in St. Louis is just plain hot and it is about to get hotter during the second half of the week and into the weekend, so what do the rising temperatures have to do with corn sweat?

According to Wes Browning of the National Weather Service, the heat dome, or mass of hot air hanging over the Midwest, is only part of the extreme temperatures facing St. Louisans in the coming days.

Most people who live or visit St. Louis in the heat of the summer will say it is not the temperature itself that makes the weather miserable, it is the humidity.

As temperatures rise above 70 degrees, so does the dew point, or amount of moisture in the air.  The higher the dew point, the higher the humidity.

 
“You get these cornfields they’re putting out gigantic amounts of moisture and that tends to mix over large areas…covering states…where the dew points may be in the upper 70’s and in surrounding areas may be in the low 70’s,” said Browning.

Rainfall may soak into the ground, but the corn plants are like a straw and will suck up any new moisture in the ground and release it right back into the air.

“The moisture comes out of the plants, continuously…at this time of year…corn is growing extremely vigorously and it’s putting out huge amounts of water and that actually raises the surface dew point over large portions of the Midwest.”

The healthier the crop, the more moisture that is released into the air, and therefore, the higher humidity level.

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