Sound Off

I keep hearing the people who do weather reports on TV and radio talk about "relative humidity." What does that mean?

According to Scientific American: "Relative humidity is a measure of the actual amount of moisture in the air compared to the total amount of moisture that the air can hold. Warm air can hold more water than cool air. But if the air (warm or cool) is holding half as much moisture as it can hold when saturated, the relative humidity is 50 percent ...

": Humidity is most often used to describe how a person feels, often in conjunction with heat. If it is hot and humid, a person will usually feel much more uncomfortable. The reason for this is that the body tries to cool itself through evaporation of moisture on the skin. But when the air is humid, evaporating the moisture becomes more difficult and the actual cooling effect is much smaller.


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