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What's Up With The Humidity In San Diego?

Cars drive through morning rain in San Diego, July 24, 2017.
Courtesy of NWS San Diego
Cars drive through morning rain in San Diego, July 24, 2017.
What's Up With The Humidity In San Diego?
What's Up With The Humidity In San Diego? GUEST:Alex Tardy, warning coordination meteorologist, National Weather Service in San Diego

The top story on KPBS Midday Edition, San Diego's have been slogging through summer weather that feels more like a Florida Everglades. It is hot and humid through the day and it does not cool off at night. The East County mountains have been hit by hundreds of lightning strikes and heavy rain's. That is only part of the freaky weather plaguing the states. The question is, when is this going to stop ?Joined me is Alex tardy for the National Weather Service in Sandia. Welcome back.Thank you for having me on.Has this what we've been feeling as unusual as it feels?Your body does not lie to you. When you wake up in the morning and go to bed at night and you are starting to break a sweat, something is up. Scientifically when we look at it, since June this year through July and now early August, humidity wise, we are several percentages above normal. We see more moisture in the air directly affecting us. There is a few things causing it. One thing we do not like to talk about because it is confusing is the dew point temperature. When you take your soda can and it is cold and you put it on the counter and you ruined your wooden table. It is a flood. What that is directly is when the moisture content in the atmosphere is high, the condensation that occurs with that cold can touching the moist air outside, it condenses immediately. The higher the value, the easier for that to occur. Even if you have the same temperature of the can. The dew point temperature that we see yesterday was in the mid-70s. That is something you see in Texas. They are used to that in Florida. We are not. It is noticeable and scientifically you can measure it.There has been dangerous stormy conditions in the East County. 488 lightning strikes.We have a lightning detection system that records in cloud and cloud to ground and they are deadly. What we see is monsoon thunderstorms. It is related to the humidity. The monsoon thunderstorm is just moisture and humidity that makes a sweat. When we force it over the mountains and the air rises why the gliders go over the mountains, that forms the big and puffy clouds you saw yesterday. They can be dangerous. Underneath them is heavy rain and lightning. What is causing the lightning is ice. The clouds are so high in the sky and they are full of ice.Where is the moisture coming from ?That is a good question. There is a couple of sources. Every year, we get the flow of wind that comes around the big dome of high pressure that gives us the low summers. That is where it comes from. It is not coming directly from a hurricane or tropical system. It is not coming from the backyard pool. It is not coming from the beach. It is coming up from the tropics. Compound the situation, we have the ocean temperatures at the beaches which is nice to jump into, mid-70s. Those are running 6 degrees above normal. That means more moisture added, warmer nighttime low temperatures. It is great in the ocean and get a splash, it affects the local climate by not allowing us to cool off. We have tropical moisture coming from the south with the monsoon flow and we have the warm water adding to it.We have been Seeing hotter summers and more humidity in San Diego for the last several years. Is this the new normal for us?When we define normal, it is a 30 year average. It is tough to say. It is tough to say if it is similar to 2017. The initial research was that warmer than normal conditions would be something we would feel here in San Diego and all the way up through California. We definitely see that. 14 was the hottest summer on record. 15 was a second hottest. It is too early to say that the summers are going to be like this one but the past 10 years, when you average together, the trend is up and it is not just air temperature. It is humidity. The initial research done focuses on low temperatures being warmer.You say who cares about low temperatures. What is the big deal ?That is the indication of the warming climate, the warming oceans and the high humidity. That is what we are talking about.When we look at next week for this specific forecast, any relief in sight?This morning, most people woke up with a marine layer which is relief. Here's the problem. The marine layer itself is coming from ocean temperatures that are in the 70s. We are warmer in the ocean then we should be. Your relief is less effective. It is like having a faulty air-conditioner. We have a little bit of relief that it is subtle. Temperatures in most locations will be well into the 90s. The humidity is not going to go away. It will not be as what we saw yesterday. Still, it is more than what we are used to dealing with in this part of the region.I have been speaking with Alex with the National Weather Service in San Diego. Thank you.You are welcome.

San Diegans have been slogging through a wave of summer weather that feels more like the Florida Everglades than sunny San Diego.

It is hot and humid through the day, and it does not cool off too much at night. The mountains and valleys in East County San Diego have been hit by hundreds of lightening strikes and heavy rains. And that's only part of the unusual weather plaguing the West Coast this week.

The question is, when will it end?

Alex Tardy, the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in San Diego joins Midday Edition Friday to talk about what is causing this weather and the forecast for the coming weeks.