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Weather: At least we're not in Texas

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

We're halfway home. Friday marked the midpoint of meteorological summer - which runs from June 1 to Sept. 1. The National Weather Service has placed the northwoods under an Excessive Heat Watch through Tuesday. Temperatures are expected to reach into the lower 90s with dew points in the 70s. That combination will result in a heat index exceeding 105. These are potentially dangerous conditions.

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You're no doubt familiar with the expression "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." The humidity level is mainly dictated by the temperature air must cool to for dew to form - the dew point. Dew points in the 50s are considered to be comfortable. As dew points increase into the 60s it starts to feel somewhat muggy. Dew points in the 70s are uncomfortable. Above that it becomes downright unbearable, and you might as well stay inside an air conditioned room and catch up on some reading. The dew point plays a part in relative humidity readings in that the closer together the air temperature and dew point are, the higher the relative humidity.

It may comfort you to know that our current weather, which typically we experience less than two weeks each year, is essentially the same as it is all summer along the Gulf Coast of Texas. Port Arthur, Texas, is considered to be the "muggiest" city in the United States. Summer high temperatures there average in the low 90s with afternoon dew points in the 70s.

Only another six weeks of meteorological summer remain. Statistically the warmest day of the year is July 28. Keep those facts in mind and remember that it could always be worse - you could live in Texas.

Tom Siemers is the Pioneer's circulation manager. Email him at tsiemers@bemidjipioneer.com

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