Ask Storm Team 11: Relative humidity vs. dew point


Tuesday’s Ask Storm Team 11 question: “What is the difference between relative humidity and dew point?”

While can help explain how dry or humid it feels, relative humidity is what most us think when it comes to describing, well, humidity.

Relative humidity describes how saturated the air is near the surface. It’s pretty safe to say 30% humidity means it’s pretty dry and there’s very little moisture in the air.

On the other hand, 90% humidity is a pretty saturated air mass.

Keep in mind, humidity changes based on the temperature. That’s why it’s called relative humidity.

Assuming moisture content remains the same, as the temperatures goes up, humidity goes down.

That’s why the dew point is considered to be the best direct measure of moisture. The higher the number, the more uncomfortable it feels outside.

Dew points around 65 or 70 are pretty oppressive and you’re likely sweating.

A dew point of 60 to 65 is still muggy. The 40s and 50s are pretty comfortable.

Dew points in the 30s or lower is dry.

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