How corn sweat impacts humidity in the Quad Cities

Evapotranspiration, or “corn sweat,” releases moisture into the air, boosting humidity.

OSCO, Ill. — With temperatures expected to hit the triple digits this week, we’re all looking for ways to beat the heat. Here’s a tip: you might want to avoid the corn fields.

“People that live near a cornfield, you do experience more uncomfortableness, if you will, to the air,” said News 8 Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke. “There is more moisture there.”

Stutzke said corn sweat, or evapotranspiration, is to blame.

“Especially when we get to the end of July, the first part of August, corn sweat is all of the moisture that it is taking out of the ground, working through the plant and then gets evaporated into the atmosphere,” Stutzke said. 

The water evaporating is essentially cooling the plant, just like the way sweating cools us in the heat. However, unlike corn sweat, human sweat doesn’t increase the humidity in the air.

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Jenna Webster