Tuesday, June 27, 2006

It's The Humidity

Yesterday, the air conditioner in my part of the office conked out and spent the day pumping warm moist air into the office. At 4 pm, it was 79 degrees and 83% relative humidity in the building. That equates to a dew point of 73 degrees, which in technical terms is very soggy. To understand how humid this is, there are only about 100 hours a year in Baltimore when it is more humid outside than it was at my desk yesterday.

I only trust weather reports that measure humidity in dew point. Relative humidity is complete bullpucks, because it is, duh, relative. Relative humidity tends to be higher in the evening and early morning, like around the eleven o'clock news, because it is cooler outside. The weatherman gets to say "It is 95% relative humidity right now" when maybe it just rained or just wasn't that hot. Dew point is the real deal. Dew point is the temperature at which your drink will start sweating. A mild day will have dewpoints in the 50's or 60's. Anything in the 70's, I consider muggy.

Some of my coworkers were threatening to strip down to speedos from the intolerable working conditions. Having visited Vietnam last summer, I laughed at the humidity. Nothing is more humid than an un-airconditioned museum in Hanoi during June. Dewpoints in Vietnam regularly climb over 80 and we had plenty of them when we were there.

This is a good place to plug my other blog called Asia Trip 2005. It doesn't get a lot of traffic, but I do put a lot of work into posting pictures with little vignettes from our trip. I have started posting some video clips to YouTube for use on my blog, and the videos get more viewings from YouTube than the blog itself.

This summer we will be putting the heat versus humidity debate to the test when we drive across the Southwest on vacation. I'll report back then which is worse and why.

Blatant CommentWhoring™: What place has the worst weather that you've been in?

13 comments:

Liz said...

Probably when I taught up north of the Arctic Circle, we saw -70 once and a while. It was very very dry and no wind, but still -70 is cold!

Anonymous said...

Houston. It's one of those soggy, high humidity (or dew point or whatever) places. I know a guy who was in Vietnam during the war, and he said Houston is worse.

mostlylurking

Impetua said...

Washington DC in early August. Walking out of the airport was like walking into a warm, damp, smelly towel.

BTW it was 102 here yesterday, and since we can't take that kind of heat we all ran our A/C's until the transformer blew down the street and we all cooked in our own muggy juices for a couple hours until they got the power back up.

Flyboy said...

I looked at your videos and concluded that you are now going to be a movie producer. If you want to see humidity go to the Philippines in the rainy season. You probably don't remember but we had light bulbs in the closets of the house to keep the shoes from turning into balls of green mold and our house was air conditioned.

Harmonica Man said...

Why I come here - always something new to learn.

I spent some time in Baton Rouge and the humidity would build all morning until it would eventually rain around 1:00 - every day! Then the cycle would start all over again but just stay muggy all afternoon.

Nice place, but yuk with the sticky.

Claude said...

I can't say that I've visited anywhere with extreme weather conditions, but on my honeymoon in 1986 we went to Williamsburg, VA and it rained almost constantly the entire week. It wasn't unlike the weather we've been having here the last several days.

I probably should have taken that as an omen...

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Indianpolis; NE of Philly; WDC and suburbs. I've visited Quebec; Ottowa; Boston; Richmond; Berlin; Hildesheim; Brasilia; Rio de Janeiro; Austin; Atlantic City; Wildwood and Seside Heights, NJ; Ocean City, MD; NYC; San Diego and San Francisco.

Have to say the worst for me would be San Fran. Couldn't walk more than a few blocks without becoming drenched in sweat. The one really nice day I spent was on Angel Island: hiked over the top, and road a reanted bike twice around. The only day there that wasn't mind numbingly humid.

The best would be San Diego by miles. The only place I've ever vacationed twice (not counting NJ beaches as a child).

Wow, that was long (too long?).

yellojkt said...

San Diego is very nice as long as your near the coast. I understand that inland gets hot quick.

rampant bicycle said...

just saying hi from Michele's!

loudfan said...

"Have to say the worst for me would be San Fran. Couldn't walk more than a few blocks without becoming drenched in sweat." Is this some other San Francisco that I don't know about? I've lived here for nine years and while we do have the occasional freakishly hot day, I don't remember it EVER having been humid. The only time I experience humidity these days is my annual visit to my parents in Florida.

Plain Jane said...

Virginia Beach, July 4, 2000. It was 104 degrees out and we were moving our entire house into a truck... alone... because all our "friends" ditched us for a long holiday weekend instead of helping us move furniture. Virginia sucks for humidity, too. UGH!

Shane said...

reminds me of being in Atlanta where the air is just as thick as the women

Raphael said...

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