Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tropical Heat

I just added this link to a Heat Index Calculator (thanks Danny!) - it's now in the "Useful Links" section on the side. Coming from a fairly dry part of the world, I never really thought much about humidity and the effects of wet air before. It seemed strange when people would exclaim about "85 degrees, and *85%* humidity!" I had no concept of what that felt like - how was that substantially different than just 85 degrees?

Hmmm - well! Since moving to the tropics, I have definitely seen what all the fuss is about! Humidity makes a difference. Still, it's funny when people say it "feels like" 120 degrees. Really, it "feels like" 90 degrees and 87% humidity. But then you realize it's all about the warnings - be careful of heat stroke, stay out of the heat, etc. I definitely took advantage of the cool pool when the heat and humidity spiked :-).

The thing I would like to see is some way to relate to cooler temperatures with high humidity. For example, in rainy season, my area very often is 70 degrees, with the humidity at 75% - that doesn't feel hotter, it feels clammy - aka yucky!


Danny and Liese said...

I read that at temperatures lower than 80°F the humidity doesn't as noticeably affect how we feel the temperature. So I guess 70°F and 90% humidity doesn't feel hot so much as damp.


Julie said...

I think so many articles are focused on the higher heat because of the danger (heat stroke, etc). However, I definitely notice the difference between 70 degrees at 80% vs 50% humidity. Higher humidity at that temperature feels colder (and not that pleasant "coolness" either) - I think it's because of that moisture sitting on your skin.
(and of course, there's the whole mold issue - bleh!)