Corn may be good on the cob (and for the economy in Iowa) but it sucks if you live near it on a hot and humid day. Today in Iowa dew points soared well into the 80s in some areas. Here in Connecticut we moan and groan if the dew point is in the mid 70s but every summer Iowa seems to take the prize for the highest dew point in the country.
The reason why is corn fields. Today some towns in Iowa reported dew points as high as 86 degrees. What may seem like an error probably isn’t. Around large corn fields during a hot, summer day with plenty of sunshine the water soaked up by corn evaporates into the atmosphere. This is called evapotranspiration. The process results in very high moisture levels near the surface and consequently super high dew point temperatures.
When 80+ dew points combine with temperatures in the 90s heat index values soar well into the 100s. Here’s a look at observations from this afternoon in central Iowa. For example in Ames, IA the temperature was 93 and the dew point was 81… the resultant heat index? 113.
Newton, IA won the award for most uncomfortable city in the country this afternoon with a heat index of 122!
Next time we’re talking about oppressive humidity and how awful and sticky it feels just be glad you’re not working on a farm in Iowa during mid July.