Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I have been thinking about humidity lately. I have lived, among other places in humid areas, such as New Jersey, New York, St. Louis and San Diego. But the humidity here is more...well...humid. So what exactly is humidity? How can it be 100% humid and not be raining? Is a dry heat really more comfortable than a humid heat? Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

Humidity is a term for the amount of water vapor in the air, and can refer to any one of several measurements of humidity. Formally, humid air is not "moist air" but a mixture of water vapor and other constituents of air, and humidity is defined in terms of the water content of this mixture, called the Absolute humidity.[1] In everyday usage, it commonly refers to relative humidity, expressed as a percent in weather forecasts and on household humidistats; it is so called because it measures the current absolute humidity relative to the maximum. Specific humidity is a ratio of the water vapor content of the mixture to the total air content (on a mass basis). The water vapor content of the mixture can be measured either as mass per volume or as a partial pressure, depending on the usage.
In meteorology, humidity indicates the likelihood of precipitation, dew, or fog. High relative humidity reduces the effectiveness of sweating in cooling the body by reducing the rate of evaporation of moisture from the skin. This effect is calculated in a heat index table, used during summer weather.

So, here is the bottom line...whether it is absolute humidity, relative humidity or specific humidity you are never going to feel completely dry after a shower, you better eat all of your bread the same day you buy it or you will have penicillin in the morning and tile floors will always be just a little slippery. But, on the other hand, the grass is always green, mirrors are always clean...and they say humidity is good for your skin. Now, the truth is it makes little difference to me, I am in air conditioning all day...home, office and car!

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