Why the heat and humidity have been relentless in Michigan

The heat and humidity have been nonstop in Michigan since late last week. So why, exactly, is it so excessively hot and humid at the same time? Take a look at a pot of water boiling on the stove.

The heat has been relentless and the humidity too. And this stickiness isn't going anywhere for now.

Imagine a pot of water on the stove that you're boiling for pasta. You've got the lid on it and it's heating up! Then you open the lid and that moisture escapes. We need the lid off.

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It's like that. There's a lid on top of our atmosphere over Detroit and other parts of the upper midwest and east coast and it's not budging.

Now imagine that pot of water is our atmosphere and inside the pot is full of water and heat.

Our atmosphere has tons of water from the oceans and the Gulf of Mexico. Right now, a south wind is pushing that moisture from the gulf into Michigan.

So we need something to take the lid off - but right now it's stuck. Why?

When strong high pressure builds in, it creates a heat dome and hot air rises up through the atmosphere.

Picture a campfire and smoke rising up. That's what's happening in our atmosphere.

The difference is that lid in place is forcing the hot air back down. As it sinks it creates compressional heating which makes it even warmer!

There are two of these high-pressure situations happening in the U.S. right now with the Pacific Midwest setting record highs near 110 degrees!

So what will finally take our lid off the atmosphere? A cold front. The bad news is we don't have a cold front pushing it out until the latter half of this week.

In the meantime, drink water and stay in some air-conditioned buildings if you can.

Here's how a boiling pot of water is a lot like what our weather is today.