While heat can be a struggle, humidity can pack its own punch. That thick air makes the already warm temperatures feel even hotter, and of course, it can cause the most epic of bad hair days. But what is humidity? And how does it affect our everyday lives?
When we forecast the weather, one key factor we use is the measure of moisture in the air- and humidity is just one way to do that.
Relative humidity is the amount of water in the air compared to the air temperature. When the temperature is higher, the air can hold more water vapor- so the warmer the climate, the higher the humidity level can be
When humidity is high, the air becomes clogged with water vapor making it hard to cool off on those humid days. This is because your sweat can’t evaporate into the air like it needs to. So, The higher the humidity, the wetter it feels outside.
Dr. Kenny Blumenfeld, a climatologist with the Minnesota department of natural resources, spoke about the hidden bite associated with high humidity days.
“So you wouldn’t recognize them from their temperatures alone – it looks like a normal hot day, it’s 95 or 97 degrees. The difference is with increasing frequency – those days have dewpoints of 75, 77, or even 80 degrees, and that’s where you start getting into unbearable conditions.”
Humidity is blamed for all kinds of negative things, including mold in your house and malfunctions in regular household electronics. Moisture from humid air settles on electronics which can interrupt the electric current, causing a loss of power. Computers and television sets can lose power if not protected with devices such as a dehumidifier, which sucks the moisture out of the air.
The fact of the matter is that humidity can undoubtedly make it harder to beat the summer heat. Remember to stay hydrated and cool on those ever-present hot summer days. As always, check with your local meteorologist for a look at the potential humidity and what might be in store for your area.
For more information about humidity and the effects it can have on your life, click the link to visit the National Weather Service’s Humidity page: https://www.weather.gov/lmk/humidity