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Old 06-01-2011, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
3,781 posts, read 2,829,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainwreck20 View Post
I have lived many years in both locations, and 'negligible' would not be my way of describing the differences .

Austin does get hot and humid, and sometimes is indistinguishable from Houston weather; however, Houston also gets those insane humidity days where the humidity approaches 99-100%. We once had to stop playing basketball because the ball became soaked with sweat - it wouldn't evaporate. We were in the shade ( a covered pavilion), but it was probably a good idea to stop just the same to avoid heat exhaustion. Never had anything close to that happen in Austin.

If you are coming from an arid climate, both places will seem very humid.

On the other hand, I do like the rain in Houston, I wish we would get more of that . And the winters are wonderful....

For all weather intents and purposes, Austin = San Antonio and Houston = New Orleans
I grew up in Louisiana, and once I spilled water on my carpet. It was during one of those several week long stretches of winter humid weather, mild (60's and low 70's) but humid, mild enough that I didn't have to use the heater or AC, which meant that the water couldn't evaporate, as the relative humidity stayed at 98% for two weeks.

That piece of carpet stayed wet for the whole two weeks, even though I dabbed it everyday with a towel. I eventually took out a blow dryer and that's how I got it dried out. Now if this had happened in the summer, the A/C would have dried out the carpet and if it had been in the 50's and humid then the heater would have dried out the carpet, but being mild, my unit never kicked in so there was no way to modify the humidity. I really needed a dehumidifier then.

Now that is humidity and Austin has never come close to having that.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Broomfield, CO
1,448 posts, read 1,792,392 times
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What an odd discussion. Comparing two of the cities with among the most relentless, worst summer climates in the nation. Well if we must, Austin is indeed less humid than Houston, especially in the afternoon hours. Most mornings in Austin are muggy and uncomfortable, similar to Houston. Consider this. In the 8 years I have lived here, there has never been a "heat advisory" in the Austin area. Why? Because as long as it's between 95-100 degrees, there will almost never be a heat index during the afternoon. A VERY unique climate to the state considering there are no natural barriers between Austin and Houston!


Quote:
Originally Posted by irishlover View Post
We were visiting your lovely city this weekend (we own a ranch near Burnet) and as we walked from 6th/Lavaca to Z Tejas on west 6th at noon-ish we remarked how hot and humid it was, much like Houston. In fact, to me, the weather seemed the same. At that time I looked up the heat index at Houston Bush and Austin Bergstrom and Austin was at 98 while Houston was at a baltic 96 (sarcasm).

Anyway, our friends who live in Austin always brag about how much less humid their summers are as if it is a major difference between the two cities, Houston, like always, being on the short end of the stick. I've been to Austin countless times during the summer months and I just don't see it. It is just as hot and miserable as Houston from May-Sept. I mean as the crow flies Houston is only 130 miles or so from Austin. I recognize the gargantuan 450ft elevation gain (more sarcasm) as you head northwest toward the hill country from Houston must help decrease the relative feel of the heat but all in all I think it's an apples to apples comparison. And where we live near Houston we have a constant breeze...same as in Austin to help buffer the feel of the heat.

This isn't meant to be a thread bashing Austin I'm just wondering if there is any "proof" in NOAA weather records or NCDC climate data that, in fact, Houston is more humid and miserable (weather-wise). Cheers!
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,541 posts, read 21,243,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishlover View Post
What problem is it exactly that you are referring to? Rain? TS Allison was an anomaly. We've had an 11 inch rain at our ranch in Burnet (registered on our semi-pro Davis Vantage weather station) in 6 hours that caused severe flooding of our deer pens and of the house.

Rainfall is recorded at one finite point in time and space. To actually get something useful to discuss you have to look at AVERAGES not the events that are 2 or 3 standard deviations from the norm that occur once ever 150 years or more.

Your graphs do show that Houston humidity levels are higher on AVERAGE than Austin. Point taken. To me, however, the difference is not as substantial as Austinites make it out to be...in fact, according to your graphs its usually less than 10%.
The frequency of those abnormally intense rainfalls are much higher in Houston. That is clearly represented in the numerous charts that I linked to. For every record setting event there are numerous other events that exceed the norm but do not set a new record.
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
3,781 posts, read 2,829,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CptnRn View Post
The frequency of those abnormally intense rainfalls are much higher in Houston. That is clearly represented in the numerous charts that I linked to. For every record setting event there are numerous other events that exceed the norm but do not set a new record.
And to anyone that has been stuck in a Houston torrential downpour, you know that Houston storms ain't nothing to mess with.
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
3,781 posts, read 2,829,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eepstein View Post
What an odd discussion. Comparing two of the cities with among the most relentless, worst summer climates in the nation. Well if we must, Austin is indeed less humid than Houston, especially in the afternoon hours. Most mornings in Austin are muggy and uncomfortable, similar to Houston. Consider this. In the 8 years I have lived here, there has never been a "heat advisory" in the Austin area. Why? Because as long as it's between 95-100 degrees, there will almost never be a heat index during the afternoon. A VERY unique climate to the state considering there are no natural barriers between Austin and Houston!
It's true that Houston is perhaps the most uncomfortable city in the nation in the summer, but parts of the MS River valley and even OH valley are even more uncomfortable than Austin due to humidity. I was in Columbus once when they had an 82 degree dewpoint. Do you know how that feels, that is Amazon Rain Forest levels of humidity? Go to St. Louis or Memphis in the summer and tell me how it compares to Austin. We may be hotter but I guarantee they have higher dew points. Go to the Eastern Seaboard and walk around DC at the height of summer and tell me how that compares to Austin. Walk around Columbia, SC or Savannah. Walk around New Orleans or Houston. All those places are more uncomfortable than Austin in the summer. We actually have a decent, albeit hot climate.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Not Moving
969 posts, read 906,078 times
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This is true. I grew up in Houston, but spent many years in the Ohio Valley (which by the way, has a horrible air quality,) and it was very humid there in the summer. Heat / humidity didn't last as long month-wise, and certainly cooled off at night (unlike Houston.)

Hey, we are to the south, and it's supposed to be hot, hot, hot during these months! Austin is less humid than Houston....period.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:29 PM
 
Location: The Lone Star State
5,263 posts, read 3,421,177 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishlover View Post
I agree with you for the most part. Anytime I've debated this topic with friends in Austin or our neighbors in Burnet they make the Austin area out to be like Denver Colorado or even Amarillo which it is NOT. And, I think the Houston and Austin climes are so close to the same the differences are negligible. If I want a less humid climate (which I don't) I will relocate to Denver or Albuquerque...NOT Austin.

Just trying to call a spade a spade
You've got it down for the most part.
Houston's more humid but Austin's hotter and less cloudy. They're both close to equally uncomfortable in the summer though yes, Austin's more dry. But many other Austinites are in denial of this closeness and/or exaggerate the difference like you say. Doing anything outdoors in the summer in either city you will be hot and need lots of water and sunscreen.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
1,290 posts, read 1,287,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sxrckr View Post
You've got it down for the most part.
Houston's more humid but Austin's hotter and less cloudy. They're both close to equally uncomfortable in the summer though yes, Austin's more dry. But many other Austinites are in denial of this closenessand/or exaggerate the difference like you say. Doing anything outdoors in the summer in either city you will be hot and need lots of water and sunscreen.
This phenomenon of going into denial mode during crappy weather is not isolated to Austin. When I lived in Colorado, folks would whip out their shorts & Chacos when it was 50 in February and act as though spring had arrived. Not exactly the same as what we're talking about, but I think I'm making my point. Let Austinites have their denial of the heat & humidity...you do what you gotta do to get through the summer
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Avery Ranch
587 posts, read 856,882 times
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I think this is a thread that is not as factual as it might seem; some people are far more sensitive to humidity than others and to them, the difference probably seems HUGE.

I know that when we lived in Phoenix and were first starting to research moving to Austin, humidity was a big concern. I did a ton of research on this and in the end, it still seems that those coming from the west think Austin is humid, those coming from the east think it's dry.

That is NEVER the case when looking into Houston (which we also did). Houston is just humid. I actually remember reading a couple articles on weather.com that said the two most humid climates in the entire country were the Florida Keys and Houston.

Bottom line: Austin is never mentioned in the "most humid places in the country" discussion; Houston often is. No matter where you come from, people think Houston is humid.

So no matter what facts you throw out, those real life experiences tell me that Austin does indeed FEEL drier and that most people really do feel the difference.

As always, YMMV.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:53 PM
 
Location: The land of sugar... previously Houston and Austin
5,345 posts, read 9,116,771 times
Reputation: 3411
Quote:
Originally Posted by intmd8r View Post
I actually remember reading a couple articles on weather.com that said the two most humid climates in the entire country were the Florida Keys and Houston.
Don't know what article/list that was, but according to these sources the top 5 most humid cities are:
1. Quillayute/Forks, Washington
2. Mount Washington, New Hampshire
3. Astoria, Oregon
4. Port Arthur, Texas
5. Lake Charles, Louisiana

Sticky Business: The Ten Most Humid Cities in America - DivineCaroline
10 Most Humid Cities In America*|*The Jetpacker


Anyway, I thought the OP's point to the thread wasn't just humidity alone; but also actual heat/temps, and other factors that affect how hot it feels outside (like cloud cover).
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