Tuesday, August 27, 2013

You Don't Need A Sunny Day To Melt In the Heat

The past couple of days have been rather gray and gloomy in Vermont. A glance out the window could make you think there's a little bit of chill pre-autumn dampness in the air.
Fog,  haze and dense clouds in St. Albans Tuesday
morning gave the atmosphere a chilly, damp
appearance, but it was actually oppressively humid.  

Think again. Anyone who has stepped outside over the past 48 hours knows it is humid as heck out there.

Which proves you don't necessarily need a blazing summer sun to feel like you're melting in the summertime.

The weather is deceptive. If you don't do much out there today, you might stay relatively comfortable. Exert yourself a wee bit, and the sweat starts pouring off you.

To get a sense of whether you'll be uncomfortably warm when you go outside, it's not enough to just look at the temperature. Yeah, if it's 95 degrees, it's hot, no matter how humid it is.

But days like yesterday and today, when the temperature was "comfortably" in the 70s, are a reminder to look at the dew point.  The dew point is essentially how far the temperature has to drop before the air is saturated. You get dew and fog if the temperature and dew point match. But usually, the actual temperature is warmer than the dew point.

If the dew point is above 60 degrees, you start to feel the humidity. Above 65, it's in your face. Above 70, and OMG!! I'm mellltttting!!!!!.

As I write this early Tuesday afternoon, the temperature in Burlington is 78 degrees. Not bad. But the dewpoint is 68. Wicked sticky.  The dewpoint has been at or above 65 degrees in Burlington since early Monday afternoon. It's also humid throughout the rest of the Northeast.

The high humidity is kind of pooling near the Great Lakes and northern and western New England because we're near the eastern boundary of a blazing Midwestern heat wave. Weather disturbances like to ride along the edges of heat waves, and that's what's been happening since early Monday, and what will keep happening the rest of the week.

It tends to be on the humid side along the path of these heat-edge seeking weather disturbances.

So we can expect a fair amount of clouds, but some sun between the disturbances. There is a risk of a shower or storm occasionally, and it will stay humid into the weekend. But the humidity might tend to wane just a little as we go through the week.

And signs are the humidity will really diminish by early next week. We'll be into September by then, after all. Time to start thinking about the crisp, decidedly not humid days of fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment