ROANOKE, Va. – My wife made a comment to me the other day. She said, "I feel like I've built up a tolerance to this humidity." This got me thinking about how often our humidity has been very high this year.
For us, dew points in the 70s means that the air feels very sticky. I researched how many times we've had dew points in the 70s so far this year, and compared it with each year since 1950. While the data is for Roanoke, this does show a trend for a large chunk of our region.
So far this year, we've had 38 days where the dew point has been 70 degrees or higher. That is the fifth most on record through Aug. 8.
Throughout the last (roughly) 70 years, this a trend that we've seen rising in our area.
Especially recently, this has been the result of moisture surging in out of the Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean. High pressure off the east coast and an active storm track to our west both have acted to push in this moisture from time to time.
So, how has this impacted us? It has allowed rain to get heavier in recent weeks. It has allowed for nighttime lows to be warmer. Lastly, it's impacted how pollen travels. We typically see elevated pollen levels in August anyway. More humid air is less dense, which would allow pollen particles to travel more.