Experts: Summer humidity worst in 20 years

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Officials say this summer's unbearable heat is not just in our heads.

According to the State Climate Office at North Carolina State University, this has been the most humid summer in 20 years.

Ryan Boyles, the Director of the State Climate office, says this year is one for the record books.

"So far the summer of 2015 ranks as the 5th most humid summer on record for Raleigh Durham airport, going all the way back to 1949," Boyles explained.

Boyles and his office pored through data from years past and studied dew point temperatures for each year. The long term average dew point temperature for June and July is 66 degrees Fahrenheit. This year, our average is close to 69 degrees.

"The difference between the ranking of this year as compared to 1995 is a fraction of a few degrees. but when it's averaged over the course of two months, it's something significant," Boyles explained.

As it turns out, there is an explanation for the uptick in mugginess.

"On any given day the amount of rain that falls in any given location is going to be transpired fully within the atmosphere within the next 48 hours. so a lot of the green vegetation we have is what is contributing to the high humidity," explained Boyles.

This summer, our rainfall totals have been above average in both June and July.

Raleigh resident Amy Lubas says she has felt the change.

"I think it is definitely a lot hotter this summer than I remember it being last summer. I walk around a lot outside with my dogs and it has been a year that I've wanted to stay inside."

Even her kids have felt the change.

"Our local swim team in our neighborhood pool, they shorten practices sometimes and the meets are awful. It's just too hot. It's miserable," Lubas said.

Vikas Chauhan, a student at NCSU echoes her feeling.

"I take out my handkerchief and I start wiping my face all the time. It's pretty hot, I prefer driving rather than walking to classes," Chauhan said.

Brandon Black, an employee at the State Climate Office says he would like to head east to beat the heat.

"I haven't made it to the beach yet, but hopefully I'd like to get down there and cool off a little," said Black.

One thing is for sure, when it is humid, it makes the temperature feel even hotter, creating dangerous conditions for people who spend extended periods of time outdoors.

Stay hydrated, and limit your time outdoors during the hottest hours of the day. You should also make sure to keep pets in the shade and provide plenty of fresh drinking water.

Also, check on children and elderly neighbors who may be sensitive to the heat.

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