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Old 09-11-2007, 02:51 PM
458 posts, read 2,560,891 times
Reputation: 184


I am from the Louisville, KY area. It is sometimes a little humid here but not as bad as Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Houston, etc... According to the stats it is about the same as Dallas.

I am always hearing people complaining about humidity... On this site, from people around here, etc. I am wondering just how much of a difference it really makes. Today, here, it is 79F with about 45% humidity. I walked about 3.5 miles since it was so nice and I barely even broke a sweat. It felt perfect to me. I am always hearing people saying how they start sweating just from being outside for only a couple of minutes because of humidity.

I honestly can't feel it. 45% isn't bad but it's quite a bit more humid than Denver is. Denver today is something like 18% or something. If I don't even notice it here, what would Denver feel like? I can't really even notice the humidity until it's about 60% or higher. Even then it's not that big of a deal to me. I don't really like it but it doesn't bother me like it seems to bother some people and I'm wondering if I just have a better tolorance for humidity than a lot of people or what? Or is it really not even that big of a difference?

I'm basically looking for someone to explain to me in as much detail as you can what makes 45% humidity so bad and how a place with low humidity feels compared to a more humid place. I have never lived anywhere else so maybe I am just used to it and it's all I know. I have never really experienced a dry climate. About two weeks ago it was like 97 with 18% humidity here and I couldn't tell any difference from that and past days where the humidity was higher.

Also, Dew point. I don't understand that either. Here it's 53F, Dallas is 62F, and Denver is 31F. What does that mean? I know the higher it is the more uncomfortable it feels but again what exactly are the differences between a 62F dew point and a 31F dew point?

I know there is a weather thread but I wanted to post this separately so the topic can be solely focused on this because I'm just curious as to how big of a difference living in a dry place like Denver is from living in a little more humid place like Dallas.

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Old 09-11-2007, 03:02 PM
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,906,509 times
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Maybe it's one of those you-don't-know-what-you-got-till-it's-gone things.
To me, moving to a more humid place has been a good thing, but I appreciate that for many, the humidity here is like stepping into a steam sauna, and I definitely realize there are pros and cons to both aridity and humidity.

I am sure someone will come up with something more scientific, but here are a few benefits (IMHO) to the aridity in Colorado:
Cold temps don't feel nearly as cold
Food stays fresher, longer
You don't sweat as much
Nice powder snow for skiers

Some cons:
That summertime dry heat can feel like a furnace
Dryness is bad for skin, hair, nasal passages
Dryness is not good for furniture
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:30 PM
Location: The Denver, CO area
435 posts, read 1,676,709 times
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Speaking as someone who has lived in humidity for most of my life in NC, Denver is really not humid. Humidity is nasty. It leaves you sticky & having to take showers a few times a day (at least that was my experience). I was here in Denver to look for an apartment at the end of June & I hardly broke a sweat. It also hit 100F when I was here. I moved here at the end of August & it was not bad. In NC its hard to go outside & stay outside in August (again my own experience). If I can avoid it I will not live in humidity again. Don't get me wrong, its hot here in Denver, but the heat is bearable.
I have to say that when its colder out here it def. does not feel like it. Yesterday it was cold in the morning, but it felt a lot warmer than it was.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:03 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,980 posts, read 102,527,356 times
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I have to say that when its colder out here it def. does not feel like it. Yesterday it was cold in the morning, but it felt a lot warmer than it was.
The almost constant sun helps a lot in that regard.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:57 PM
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Does anyone know if some people don't notice humidity like others?

I know it has a lot to do with where you are living and used to. Someone from Atlanta might think Dallas is pretty dry while someone from Phoenix or Denver would think Dallas is terribly humid. As I said before I really don't find 40-55ish% humidity to be uncomfortable and I don't even sweat that much unless I start running and stuff and being out in it for at least a few minutes. I don't just start sweating just because I walked outside and simply stood on the porch or something like some people claim. Like I said in my other post I walked about 3.5 miles at a pretty fast pace today and was barely sweating in 45% humidity. Is this because I'm just used to it or am I a weirdo or what? The only times I can really notice it and feel uncomfortable here is sometimes in the early morning when the sun is rising it will be pretty nasty humid and sometimes after a rain/storm I can feel it but other than that I usually can't even feel the humidity.

I'm basically just trying to figure out if Denver would feel significantly different to me. I guess I'd probably just have to experience it for myself. If I don't even really notice the humidity here what will it be like in Denver? If I spent an extended period of time there then came back here would I then be able to tell a huge difference?
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:06 AM
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I've been watching the temperatures in a few cities including my own, Austin TX, Phoenix AZ, and Denver CO for a few months. It shows the actual temperature along with the "feels like" temp. I have yet to see Denver's "feels like" temp even one degree over the actual temp, even with the humidity is in the 40-50% range. One additional variable in Denver is the lower air pressure: Even if the humidity is the same, thin air doesn't raise the heat index the way thicker air does. I'm sure you're used to the humidity but it still makes it feel hotter than it actually is if you're at or near sea level. For example, in the summer, Austin might be 93 but feel like 99 while Denver is 92 but feels like 90. That's a significant difference in the apparent temperature.

Where I live (coastal Southern California), the humidity is usually somewhere between Denver's and Austin's. Actually, this time of year we can get humidity levels similar to Austin's but not as hot. It feels sticky and I hate it. Denver feels dry and much more comfortable than home and way more comfortable than Austin, even when the temps are close.
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:56 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Denver may feel HOT, but never sticky. That "dry heat" can get to you when it is over 95 or so.
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Old 09-12-2007, 07:17 AM
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
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The only time I break a sweat walking is if it is in the upper 90's, close to 100 degrees. I don't really notice the lack of humidity as much as I notice how dry I am, if that makes sense. I drink water constantly and still feel thirsty. I keep hand lotion handy and use it several times a day. If you hang up your laundry, it's practically dry by the time you get it on the line (well maybe that's a slight exageration).

When you are here, you will notice how clear and blue the sky is. That's because there's no moisture in it.

Even when the termperature is high, you can feel cooler by sitting in the shade. Can't do that in places with humidity.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:14 AM
Location: Westminster, CO
271 posts, read 1,253,020 times
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I used to live in Lafayette, Indiana (5 years) & near Detroit (18 years). When I go back it always amazes me how easily I break out a sweat (in the summer) and how much colder it feels (in the winter). The weather is nicer in Denver year-round. I sure as hell wouldn't go to Dallas... too hot & sticky in the summer. Was offered a job there.. stuck it out for one here.

Frankly, you probably aren't going to understand until you've been here. I sure didn't.
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:42 AM
Location: South of Denver
291 posts, read 1,919,114 times
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Critical to the discussion is the "Relative" in Humidity. The humidity has very different characteristics at different temperatures. The single most important factor in human comfort is the ability to regulate the body by sweating. In KY, or anywhere in the Midwest, the air is normally filled with humidity from the Gulf of Mexico, and as the temperature rises, the body's ability to sweat is reduced because the skin is already moist from humidity.

In Colorado, the thinner air is unable to hold as much moisture, and is rarely affected by the air masses coming from the Gulf. Therefore, as the temperature increases, the Relative humidity drops, and the cooling effect on the body by sweating works very well. It also has a tendancy to dehydrate us, another "con."

Denver has an average humidity of ~ 69%. However, when the temperature increases, the relative humidity drops and averages in the teens when temperatures are over 85. Looking at averages you wouldn't know Denver is mild and dry.

As a former Midwesterner, I was uncomfortable on any day with "normal" humidity, above 80 degrees. In Colorado, I am still comfortable in temperatures as high as 100 degrees. Yes, it's hot, but in the shade it's still nice...but you need to keep hydrating. And, while you do sweat, it evaporates immediately, so you never feel wet, or "clammy."

I once took my Colorado wife home to the Midwest and she didn't mind the humidity...until she went jogging and couldn't cool off. Her sweat wouldn't evaporate. For me, as soon as the plane door opened and I felt the humidity rush in, I was uncomfortable. But it was from knowing that I was going to feel clammy and hot for the rest of the visit.
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