Living in the Midwest means hot summers, but could “corn sweat” be to blame for the high humidity?

It’s simple, it is extremely hot outside right now and humidity levels are on the rise.  For those of you who live near corn crops, it’s only going to get worse due to “corn sweat”.  Yes you heard me right, corn is going to make the summer heat that much hotter.

Plants need a certain amount of CO2 from the air to meet their daily energy needs.  In order for plants to get CO2, their pores have to open long enough to suck up what they need.  If the temperatures are hot, this means the plants lose water vapor while their pores are open.  These vapors are then released into the atmosphere combining with hot temperatures creating what is called  “Heat Dome”.

 

corn sweat

 

Since the Midwest is a huge corn producer, that means a lot of water vapors are being released during the summer months.  The water vapors add to the level of humidity, which causes the dew point to rise.  Our bodies sweat in order to cool off, but when dew points are high our bodies have a harder time releasing sweat.  This means the temperature we feel starts to soar.

Here is a chart to show how the levels of humidity and temperature combined can make the air feel.

Temperature Chart

The question is how much do the vapors from corn add to the humidity levels. Studies have shown that corn vapors can cause dew points to rise 1 to 5 degrees depending on how hot the temperatures are. When the dew point rises, so does the heat index.  We all know that corn is not to blame for the heat wave, but it will most likely add a extra-sweaty edge to your day.

So during the next few weeks it is really important to be aware of the humidity levels and temperatures in order to keep yourself from over-heating.  Drink lots of water and stay out of the heat if at all possible.

Stay cool and safe!