Top 10 sweatiest cities in America: Humidity, population density combine to create sticky conditions
By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
As millions of Americans face the peak of sweltering summer heat, some might find themselves sweating more than others.
A study released by Honeywell Fans in partnership with Environmental Health & Engineering broke down the top 10 sweatiest cities in the United States based on several factors.
Scientists pulled data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center and the U.S. Census Bureau to rank cities according to sweat-inducing conditions such as average temperature and humidity levels during summer months, population and housing density and average wind speed.
"Geographic location has a major influence on temperatures, but so does infrastructure like residential buildings or heavy industry, which can trap heat or contribute to heat output," Dr. Ted Myatt, ScD, Environmental Health & Engineering said.
Though sweat may seem like an unfortunate consequence of a warm climate and dense population, it's the body's natural defense against potentially dangerous heat.
The human body starts to dissipate the heat by varying the rate and depth of blood circulation, by releasing water through skin and sweat glands, according to the American Red Cross.
When the blood temperature begins to climb past 98.6 degrees F, the body will try to cope by panting.
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When temperatures rise past 90 degrees Fahrenheit with relative high humidity, the body does everything possible to maintain a temperature of 98.6.
Higher humidity can make that process more difficult.
"The body cools down primarily by the evaporation of sweat on the skin," he said. "When the air is dry, sweat evaporates and cools the skin. When the air is humid, sweat doesn't evaporate as well and the body is unable to cool down," Director of Integrative Pain Management at The Mount Sinai Hospital Houman Danesh, MD, said.
Claiming three cities on the list, Florida's geographic location makes it a prime contender for hosting several sweat-inducing areas.
"The humidity remains consistently high during the summer across Florida as the state is surrounded by very warm waters and daily thunderstorms add to the moisture available," AccuWeather Meteorologist Paul Walker said.
While heat and humidity may be a common consequence to the summer season, the right factors can be deadly. An average of 658 people died of heat-related causes between 1999 and 2009.
Check out the top 10 below:
10. Charlotte, North Carolina
9. Dallas, Texas
8. Los Angeles, California
7. Raleigh, North Carolina
6. Washington, D.C.
5. Orlando, Florida
4. San Diego, California
3. Houston, Texas
2. Miami, Florida
1. Tampa, Florida