Humid heat or dry heat: What is worse?

A higher dew point prevents your sweat from evaporating and can make it harder for your body to cool.

Heat usually dominates the weather headlines during the summer, but depending on where you are in the U.S., 100 degrees can feel very different.

In Orlando, Florida, 98 degrees with 78% humidity will make you feel like you just stepped into a hot shower, but 112 degrees in Phoenix, Arizona, with 16% humidity will feel extremely hot. However, the way your body responds to the heat with less moisture in the air is a little different.

FOX Weather Meteorologist Britta Merwin said there is science behind that wet, "gross" feeling with humid heat found in the Southeast.

A dew point refers to the moisture in the air, which can make it harder for your body to cool down. The higher the dew point, the more moisture. 

"We start to sweat, and when it's humid, that sweat cannot evaporate, and that's how we cool down as humans," Merwin said. "The sweat evaporates from our skin, and evaporative cooling takes place. So, it's a process that as you are sweating and that sweating evaporates, your internal body temperature actually cools down."

Essentially, a higher dew point in the 70s can make it harder for your body to cool. If your body is unable to cool down, you could start to experience symptoms of heat exhaustion or in severe cases, heat stroke.

Dry heat "is a different animal," Merwin said.

Dry heat can be found in the desert West in places like Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and California. While dry heat does allow your body's sweat to evaporate, extreme temperatures can still be deadly.

"The caveat here in the Southwest, we're talking about 115 to – in Death Valley – 125 degrees," Merwin said. "That is totally different. We're talking about extreme temperatures."

Extreme temperatures have been deadly this summer under both dry and humid conditions, with heat-related deaths reported from California to Texas.