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Fri Mar 24, 2017

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Dry Heat vs. Humid Heat

You've probably all heard the saying about Arizona's heat: "But it's a DRY heat," which is usually meant to imply that dry heat is better than humid heat. Phoenix is both hotter and drier than most other places in the country, and people from more humid places claim that it feels hotter in higher humidity even when the temperature is lower. Let's take a look at how that works.

When your body gets hot, it sweats. The heat from your body is dissipated because it's spent turning the water on your skin into vapor. As the sweat evaporates from your body, more sweat takes its place for as long as your body decides that it needs to cool itself down. The advantage is that your body can regulate its temperature. The disadvantage being that you lose water and can dehydrate.

So why does it feel hotter in areas of higher humidity? Because when there is already a high concentration of water in the air, your sweat has no place to go. In fact, the water in the air actually condenses on your skin. While you may feel stickier or sweatier in high humid regions, you're actually sweating less. But because the sweat doesn't evaporate, you appear to sweat more. This also means that the process of sweating doesn't cool you down much, and you feel warmer.

Safety Tips


There are some safety tips that need to be followed if you're going to be in dry heat. First off, make sure you drink plenty of liquid. A person walking around outside on a hot Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

summer day can lose about one quart of water per hour, and more if overly active. Secondly, when you begin to lose too much water, your body can heat up faster causing you to suffer from heat exhaustion. Initial symptoms include nausea, dizziness, and lack of sweat (because you're dehydrated). With continued exposure to heat, other symptoms include ringing in the ears, headache, and loss of muscle control. Upon noticing the first symptom, get out of the heat and replenish the body's water immediately.

While a humid heat may feel more uncomfortable, it's less likely to cause dehydration.



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