Visual Encyclopedia

Humidity

Humidity is the amount of water vapor present in the air. Water vapor is the gaseous state of water and is invisible to the human eye. Humidity indicates the likelihood of precipitation, dew, or fog. Higher humidity reduces the effectiveness of sweating in cooling the body by reducing the rate of evaporation of moisture from the skin. This effect is calculated in a heat index table or humidex. The amount of water vapor that is needed to achieve saturation increases as the temperature increases. As the temperature of a parcel of water becomes lower it will eventually reach the point of saturation without adding or losing water mass. The differences in the amount of water vapor in a parcel of air can be quite large. For example, a parcel of air that is near saturation may contain 28 grams of water per cubic meter of air at 30 °C, but only 8 grams of water per cubic meter of air at 8 °C.

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