Breakdown: Why the heat index can be higher down on the farm

Breakdown: Why the heat index can be higher down on the farm

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Have you ever been a corn field or soybean field and wonder why it feels so much hotter outside than in town? In this episode of the breakdown, we will explain why the heat index can in fact be higher on a farm than in a town.

Dewpoint, that is the temperature we use to show how it “feels” outside. The higher the dewpoint on the scale the more muggy it feels outside.

While moisture in the atmosphere builds and rises due to weather systems, crops can ad an “extra boost” to the humid factor, making it feel even worse.

Due to the water cycle, when it rains the water will get absorbed into the ground. The water in the ground will then either do one of two things. Either evaporate which is when water in the soil changes to a gas as the ground surface heats up. Or transpiration will occur, which is when water vapor escapes from pores under leaves.

Scientist coined the term, Evapotranspiration, or the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and other surfaces and by transpiration from the plants.

Evapotranspiration actually accounts for 10 percent of the vapor in the atmosphere. That means after a cold front and when the humidity should go down in most locations, it may still feel muggy and sticky on a farm due to the plants and soil adding moisture to the atmosphere.

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