The fastest growing region in the country is the Hot Humid South—defined as areas close to the Gulf Coast in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama; all of Florida; and up the Atlantic Coast to southern North Carolina. This region receives at least 20 inches of rain annually, but that level often ranges between 40 to 60 inches. The monthly average outdoor temperature is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter with the average high in July and August over 90 degrees Fahrenheit with 90 percent humidity. Being in this region in the summer has been described as feeling like you are in a dog’s mouth. The intense solar radiation and high moisture levels create unique challenges to building a comfortable house that is easy to maintain and that minimizes its impact on the environment.