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What is Humidity?

What is Humidity?
Humidity refers to a measure of the amount of moisture or water vapor in the air. For most people, they encounter the word humidity mostly in weather reports and forecasts. In simple terms, people understand humidity as that sweaty and/or somewhat “greasy” feeling during warmer times of the day. When humidity is said to be high, the body will feel warmer with a sticky sweat feeling. This is because under humid conditions, the sweat in people’s bodies will evaporate slower.

There are two main types of humidity. One is termed “Absolute Humidity”. This refers to the amount of water vapor in a particular volume of air. In basic terms, this refers to the mass of water present in a specific amount of air volume. Like when putting air inside a container, absolute humidity will be the amount of water present in the air inside the particular container. Absolute humidity is said to change depending on the amount of air pressure. If air pressure changes, the humidity value also changes.

The second type of humidity is called “Relative Humidity”. This type is basically what people refer to when involved in “humid conditions”. This is also the type that most weather reports refer to when describing the amount of moisture or water in the air at a particular time. In scientific terms, relative humidity calculates the specific water content in the air at specific temperatures and this is compared to the most water vapor air can hold before it condenses at the given specific temperature. The value for relative humidity is usually presented in percentages. These values serve as indicators for possible fog, dew, or rain. When the percentage value of relative humidity increases, so is that warm sweaty feeling. Though sweating is done by the body to cool it off, the sweat will evaporate much slower in humid conditions.

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Posted by Erwin Z on Apr 17th, 2011 and filed under Science. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response via following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site