What Is Humidity

Humidity is one of the concerns that is often looked into by climatologists and other researchers. This is because the humidity levels in a country or a particular region in the world are mainly responsible for the climatic conditions as well. When people begin to sweat, it is an indication of the atmosphere becoming damp and hot. Such a condition is commonly known as a rise in humidity. However, just an adequate quantity of moisture or water vapor is not enough to determine if the air is humid or not. It will be up to a number of factors which actually make the atmosphere humid, damp and even hot. One thing is certain though. The condition of humidity does make people feel hot and they perspire more freely than ever. We will see how this happens when the air is humid and hot.

Essentially, the humidity relates to the content of water vapor in the air. But there are different ways to consider the quantity of vapor and moisture in the air. One indicator of humidity in air is called as the absolute humidity. The absolute humidity figure would go into a detailed analysis of the water vapor content present per unit of mass of the air. So, a study of absolute humidity would be an accurate reading of the water vapor quantities. On the other hand, there is something known as relative humidity. The relative humidity is measured by comparing the respective quantities of both normal air and the water vapor content in it. Finally, a measurement or analysis of the specific humidity would reveal the real quantities of moisture or water vapor in the dry air in the atmosphere.

If you are wondering if humidity is the cause of some warm and even hot weather, you are right. The water vapor is a residue of the evaporation of water from the water bodies. When the vapor goes to the air, it becomes like a flimsy envelope for the heat of the sun. It produces what is also known as a Greenhouse Effect. Like the harsh gases and compounds, water vapor is something that naturally traps the heat of the sun. This is why the regions with a higher level of humidity in the air are found to be facing a consistently hot and warm climate. The warmth comes from the trap for the sun’s heat formed by the vapor in the air. While the dry and hot regions may cool off when the sun sets, the sun’s heat will remain in the air in the humid regions. This makes even the night temperatures quite humid and hot.

The humid and damp climate is generally associated with the tropical and coastal regions in the world. Cities, which are bound by extensive water bodies like rivers, seas and even other reservoirs, are places where the most water vapor collects and creates a similar trap for the heat of the sun. Moreover, as the water bodies are close by, there is a greater rate of evaporation, which is also responsible for higher quantities of the dampness or moisture in the air. However, it should also be noted that the climate of the humid areas in the world is quite mild in comparison to places with dry and temperate air. This is because when hot winds blow in summer, they are taken up by the seas and other water bodies. Similarly, when cold winds come, they are also taken up. So, in humid regions, it is neither too cold in winters nor too hot in summers.

Humidity is the term which is frequently used to describe the amount of water vapor in the air. There are some other terms which can be used to describe the amounts of water vapor in detail. While humidity is responsible for a damp and warm climate throughout the year, it is also something which makes the weather mild and well-balanced. So, humidity in the atmosphere does have its own share of benefits and problems as well.