Understanding the Surprising Truth Behind Texas’ Increasing Humidity Levels

  • Title : Rising humidity in Texas: it’s not an illusion
  • Keywords : Texas, humidity, rise, climate
  • Content : An article discussing the increase in humidity in the Texas region, explaining the reasons behind this phenomenon and its impact on the local climate.

Over the past few decades, Texas has witnessed a significant increase in its humidity levels. This phenomenon, far from being an illusion, is a tangible and impactful reality for the region. What are the causes and consequences? This is what we will explore in this article, in order to better understand the issues related to this increase in humidity in Texas.

A few weeks ago, while working outside on a rainwater collection system in Austin, I realized that I was completely drenched in sweat. It was mid-May, late morning, in the shade and hours away from the heat of the afternoon. I wasn’t doing anything physical, just some adjustments to irrigation parts. However, the air was so heavy that it could have been wrung out, an atmosphere that one might rather associate with Dubai Or Houston. This humid heat now seems inevitable for long periods of the year. Whether biking around town, harvesting tomatoes in the garden, or walking from the house to the car, being outside is like swimming in liquid air.

A Phenomenon Confirmed by Experts

During last summer’s brutally hot and dry months—we had 42 days with temperatures above 105 degrees Fahrenheit in Austin—the humidity in the air always seemed saturated. As a long-time Texas resident, I wasn’t expecting dry heat. But recent late springs and summers seemed not only warmer but also wetter. To find out for sure, I called Victor Murphy, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Fort Worth. “You’re not imagining anything,” he confirmed to me. “THE dew point temperatures are actually increasing in Texas.”

An Observable Mental High

In the Austin-San Antonio area, the average dew point temperature in summer has increased 3.13 degrees since 1940. Murphy was surprised to find that May and June are the wettest months of the year in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. Frequent early summer storms contribute to this increase, with soggy skies and saturated ground driving up the heat index.

Historic Humidity Records

For the eastern third of Texas, May 2024 was the wettest month on record since 1940. heat records continue to be beaten. On June 4, San Antonio set a heat index record of 117 degrees, although the air temperature was only 100.4 degrees. “Yeah, this year it was really sweaty,” Murphy said. One June morning in Galveston, the heat index was already 99 at 9 a.m., a sign that the sea, with its record surface temperatures, is accentuating this humid trend.

The Continued Increase in Humidity

People who live in Austin, San Antonio, or the surrounding areas often express gratitude for not living in Houston, which is known for its humidity. But the numbers show that Central Texas is quickly catching up to Houston in terms of humidity. The average dew point temperature in the Houston area increased by 2 degrees between 1940 and 2023. In the Austin-San Antonio region, this increase is 3 degrees over the same period. Central Texas is closing in on Houston in terms of humidity level.

Hotter and Wetter Summers

In August, when temperatures exceed extreme levels and it has not rained in months, humidity is not expected to experience a significant drop. Even our dry spells today are much wetter than before. The summer of 2023, the second warmest on record in Texas, had average humidity, while the very hot summers of 1956 and 2011 had average humidity. dry heat.

Adapting to the New Normal

For my part, I try to adapt. When I work outside, I drink plenty of water and electrolytes, wear a light sweater, and sometimes use a portable fan. I take frequent breaks and schedule up to three showers per day on days when the heat index reaches extreme levels.