Why it feels like 102 degrees in West Palm Beach

National Weather Service forecasters in Miami said the amount of moisture in the air is unusual today, even for humidity-laden South Florida in June.

A deep tropical plume extending into the western Pacific has upped the available moisture in the air into the 90th percentile for this time of year, pushing dew points into the mid-70s.

Dew points are a measure of water vapor in the air. When dew points hit 100, it usually means its raining.

Check The Palm Beach Post radar map.

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Meteorologists warned Friday of heat indexes – feels like temperatures – hitting up to 103 degrees in some areas of South Florida. At 12:30 p.m. Weather Underground had West Palm Beach reading a heat index of 102 degrees.

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“There is definitely plenty of  moisture to work with today,” forecasters wrote in their morning discussion.

The heat index takes into account the true temperature and the relative humidity, which is the amount of moisture in the air compared to the maximum amount the air can hold before saturation.

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It feels hotter when it’s humid because the body’s cooling mechanism — sweat — doesn’t evaporate as quickly as when it’s drier.

Florida is the most humid state in the country, according to the Florida Climate Center at Florida State University. The stickiness is because of the warm waters of the Gulf and Atlantic, plus having a near tropical and tropical climate.

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But Tropical Storm Colin can also be partly blamed for the humidity today. While it didn’t bring much bluster to South Florida earlier this week, it’s tropical moisture is lingering.

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AccuWeather is warning of drenching thunderstorms today with rainfall that could cause flooding.

“The region is receiving more downpours in the wake of Colin, compared to when the system passed across the northern part of the peninsula Monday,” AccuWeather wrote.

Miami meteorologists are also concerned about the possibility of waterspouts.

One was spotted over Boca Raton during Thursday’s storms.

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