Photo credit: Kyra Skylark

The enemy that sweats


Breathing in the Arcata air, you can feel the humidity invading your lungs. The usually crisp forest air has been exchanged for a hot, humid mugginess.

The weather may be nice for weekend adventures, but trekking up the stairs to Founders Hall has now become a sweaty, smelly challenge for most students. Those returning to the HSU campus are noticing the difference in the weather.

Kristen VanGilder, a general biology major in her fourth year at HSU, has mixed sentiments on the change in the weather.

“It’s nice that it’s been so warm, you get to go to the beach and it’s not raining, but walk into classes and you’re drenched in sweat,” said VanGilder.

“Last year we got buckets, and then so far this year it’s just been hot, really, really hot. Recently it’s also been pretty humid.”

Jeffrey Kane, a 2008 HSU alum and associate professor in the Forestry and Wildland Resources department, provides some insight into the intense heat and humidity.

“It seems like there has been a change from wetter to dryer, and now we might be going into a wetter cycle again,” said Jeffrey Kane, “and that seems to be consistent with the ideas of how the climate for California is predicted to change.”

During the three years Kane was a grad-student, Humboldt State was cold, wet and foggy most of the time. Originally arriving in Humboldt in 2005, Kane has been here during the wet seasons as well as the multi-year drought.

“I came back in 2012, which happened to be the first year of the drought that lasted up until about last year,” said Kane. “I think last year was a pretty average year.”

Unlike last year, the last couple months of the summer heat and humidity has been higher than in recent years. While temperatures above 80 degrees are usually rare, this past summer saw temperature frequently in the 80s and 90s.

“What they’re predicting is increasing temperatures, and what did we have this year? We had 90 degree temperatures here in Arcata,” said Kane. “That was record breaking in some areas and very hot, uncharacteristic I would say.”

The heat and humidity within Humboldt county is unusual for the area, but correlates with the general increase in temperatures in California and around the world. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, temperatures worldwide are rising.

Kane said that the increase in temperature here in Arcata is consistent with the ideas and predictions on changing temperatures, “largely attributed to climate change, global warming, and the increase in Co2 in the atmosphere.”

While the increase in heat has some fun outside benefits, the constant fluctuating humidity is a huge drawback.

“Precipitation is a little more complex,” said Kane. “What they’re predicting isn’t that we’ll necessarily get less precipitation, but that well get more variable precipitation.”

Basically the weather patterns themselves have not altered, though the general temperature and climate have changed creating repercussions for the local weather patterns.

“It’s concerning, but I have hope that it will turn around, and we’ll get some rain,” said VanGilder.

Rainfall is expected to increase as we enter autumn. However, the heat and humidity may also continue for longer than we have experienced before.

“We can look forward to dryer drys and wetter wets,” said Kane.

Jermaine Wilson, a criminology major also in his fourth year at HSU, came to Humboldt to escape the heat of LA, only to have the heat follow him here.

“It pretty much makes you want to just lay down in bed, in cold conditions,” said Wilson. “It’s to hot to do anything else.”

We’ll just have to wait and see if the humidity dissipates. In the mean time, drink water, take advantage of the sun, and give yourself enough time to walk to class.



Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination

Major League Marijuana

Why I don’t think marijuana is everything it’s cracked up to be in baseball

Pigs Compost on Campus

CCAT tries to reduce HSU’s food waste footprint through new pig program