Phillip’s Weather Trivia: Fill in the blank about water vapor
I give you a definition and you tell me what it is
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Summer is usually hot and humid here in ENC. We have a variety of ways to discuss the moisture content in the air, so I thought up a question for you about said water vapor. Good luck!
You probably hear us discuss dew point when talking about high levels of moisture in the air. You have probably also heard discussions about relative humidity and of course you know precipitation is rain, sleet, snow, hail, and anything else that falls from the sky. The wet bulb is also something we use when discussing the evaporation potential of the sky. Take a guess. The answer is below.
Did you get it correct? The key word in the question is “compared.” It is a relative value because it is how much water vapor is in the air compared to how much water vapor can be in the air at that temperature. You may have noticed we don’t report on relative humidity as much as we once did on television.
While the weather feels the most humid in the middle of a hot afternoon, the relative amount of water vapor in the air is much lower when the air is hot. In other words, when the temperature is in the 90s outside, the air can hold a lot of moisture.
So a 35% relative humidity reading on a hot afternoon is very muggy! However, when the air cools, the relative humidity climbs, so many sunrises will have comfortable temperatures around 70, but have relative humidity values of 90%. The cooler air cannot hold as much moisture, so what it has is “relatively” high. - Phillip Williams
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