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    1 month to go until 2016 Olympics: Heat, humidity to reign over Summer Games in Rio

    By By Brian Lada, AccuWeather Meteorologist
    July 11, 2016, 4:11:55 AM EDT

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    The Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are just a month away and athletes are preparing to compete for world recognition, but the weather could affect how some of the athletes perform.

    While athletes and spectators at indoor events will not have to worry about the weather, athletes who compete outdoors may have to cope with hot and humid conditions throughout the games.

    According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller, temperatures will likely run in the middle 80s to near 90 F (29 to 32 C) throughout the Olympic Games.

    Generally, August is a dry time of year in Rio with temperatures averaging around 75 F (24 C).


    “The added warmth combined with the normal humidity levels could cause some issues for outdoor events, especially running,” Miller said.

    Long-distance runners may be the athletes affected the most by the hot and humid conditions, particularly those competing in the marathon.

    According to Runner’s World, for every 10-degree increase in air temperature above 55 F, there is a 1.5 to 3 percent increase in the average finishing time for a marathon.

    “This slow-down occurs because heat impacts runners at a physiological level through various means, including dehydration, increased heart rate and reduced blood flow (and subsequently oxygen) to the muscles used for running,” Runner's World explained.


    Spectators at outdoor events should also be mindful of the warm weather, especially if attending the event means sitting in an open stadium for several hours.

    People attending these events should make sure to apply enough sunscreen to stay protected from the harmful rays of the sun, as well as applying insect repellent to reduce the possibility of being bitten by a mosquito and contracting the Zika virus.

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    Meanwhile, it is unlikely that a significant rain event will impact the outdoor events.

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    “Much of the time should be dry, with any isolated rain event limited to a tenth or two [of an inch of rain] at worst,” Miller said.

    Rain of this magnitude could still impact events, such as cycling, golf, rugby and football where wet surfaces can affect how athletes perform; however, the majority of events should be rain-free.

    Questions or comments? Email Brian Lada at Brian.Lada@accuweather.com and be sure to follow him on Twitter! Follow AccuWeather on Twitter or on Facebook.

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