Does “Dry Heat” Really Exist In The Tri-Cities? [POLL]
Ever since I was a little kid, I've been told one of the best parts of being from Eastern Washington was that even though it's hot, it's a "dry heat". It sounds laughable but there might be some truth to it!
We hear the term all the time and I even find myself saying it when people ask me if Washington is hot. I always say it's hot but it's a dry heat!
I've decided to reach out to our local weather experts and dispel the myth of the "dry heat".
Before I get to my findings, take our poll below and let us know if you believe "dry heat" is a thing and then I'll share the findings with you below our poll.
Thanks for taking the poll!
I talked with Mark Ingalls of the Tri-Cities-based website ingalls.weathertogether.net and he breaks it down for us.
a good measure of atmospheric moisture is the dew point. Since warmer air can hold more water, a warmer dew point means there’s more water in the air. Just offhand typical dew points around here are in the 40s and 50s. This week (with the exception of one or two hours on either side of 5 pm) our dew points have been mostly in the mid-60s with some as high as the low 70s. That’s starting to get into what people in the southeast even consider to be muggy.
We typically have lower dew points than other areas because of a) the rain shadow and b) the cold Pacific water (relative to like the Gulf of Mexico or tropical Atlantic). Under this weather pattern, we’re pulling in air from further south which taps into areas where more water has evaporated off the ocean.
It's a lot of scientific jargon but it basically does mean that "dry heat" does exist and thanks to living in Washington, we get to experience it.
If you are ever asked again, does Washington get hot, you can still YES and it's a dry heat!