CBS News | April 4, 2019 8:08PM ESTThe summertime heat and humidity have caused severe air pollution across the Northeast.
And it’s not just summer.
In fact, as the mercury climbs to near-record highs, the National Weather Service says there’s a new record for the highest daily mercury reading in the nation: 965.
That’s more than double the average daily mercury level of 723.
The mercury is up to a record high of 890 degrees in Boston.
That city is in the heart of the summertime mercury peak.
It has more than 7,000 residents, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
So how can we keep our summertime temperatures comfortable?
One answer is to turn to natural cooling techniques.
According to a new study, the Northeast’s heat and moisture has led to an explosion of natural cooling.
The National Weather Services reports a whopping 3,000 cooling towers were built throughout the Northeast in the past year.
The Northeast also is experiencing a cooling trend, as temperatures drop.
For instance, in Boston, it’s been a cool 1.9 degrees over the past week.
In Washington state, the mercury dropped to below 1.5 degrees for the first time in three weeks.
While natural cooling is certainly an important factor, the researchers say natural cooling should be part of the conversation when planning your next summertime vacation.
As the mercury drops, the amount of sunlight falling on the ground decreases, which is a good thing, says David Kriegler, a professor of atmospheric science at Ohio State University.
But it can also result in some extreme heat, and a cool breeze will often help cool you down.
Kriegler’s team studied how the amount and types of sun exposure are related to the number of cooling towers built.
He found that a warmer climate reduces the amount, but it also creates a lot more.
“In the past, a lot of people thought that if you were going to do a cooler summer, you were probably going to get more sunlight,” Krieglers study co-author John Kuehl, a doctoral student at Ohio University, said.
“We found that actually, there is more sun than the sun is getting in this warmer summer.”
In fact the Northeast is now a hot and humid region with a temperature in the low 60s and lows in the 80s, Kuell says.
And while the mercury will continue to climb, it may actually be a bit cooler than the average summertime temperature.
As long as you’re planning your summer vacation to be a warm and sunny experience, natural cooling can help cool your body and help keep your body comfortable.