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Old 08-17-2007, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
396 posts, read 1,195,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCanadian View Post
To me a 62 F dewpoint might feel sticky at say 75 F, but at 95 F it would still feel toasty-dry or downright arid to me, as that would make the humidity level around 30%.
Looking at when the dewpoint has been at 60+ degrees this year, the temperature has ranged from 66 - 88 degrees, with most of them in the 70s (very few actually up into the 80s).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCanadian
To me regular humidity is when a puddle in the street, say deepest parts 1/8th inch of water and over a foot in diameter would take all day, or at least most of the day to evaporate.

My guess is that out West it usually happens much faster than that.
Yeah, it would definitely take less time here. A couple of hours after the sun comes up, maybe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHarvester View Post
Spoken like a true Utah resident.
Yeah, that's me.
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Old 08-18-2007, 12:25 AM
 
3,970 posts, read 12,471,146 times
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Interesting topic. Some might find this hard to believe, but the effects of the SW monsoon can reach as far as Utah and even East Idaho! During July and August these areas experience humidity and thunderstorms that don't normally occur in these areas, except for the monsoon. For example, Pocatello, Idaho is usually quite dry during the summer, but a few days every summer there are muggy storms coming from the south. Must be the monsoon, and thus, this weather pattern reaches far beyond Arizona and New Mexico.
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Old 08-18-2007, 07:49 PM
 
Location: East Central Phoenix
6,710 posts, read 9,815,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pw72 View Post
Interesting topic. Some might find this hard to believe, but the effects of the SW monsoon can reach as far as Utah and even East Idaho! During July and August these areas experience humidity and thunderstorms that don't normally occur in these areas, except for the monsoon. For example, Pocatello, Idaho is usually quite dry during the summer, but a few days every summer there are muggy storms coming from the south. Must be the monsoon, and thus, this weather pattern reaches far beyond Arizona and New Mexico.
Very good point. In some ways, the entire Western U.S. and even the central U.S. is affected by the Southwest's summer monsoon. In 1993, Arizona had one of its driest summers on record ... but that was the summer when the Midwest had all those torrential rains and floods. Part of that was caused by a strong southwesterly wind flow, which pushed the monsoon moisture into the central U.S., and it combined with the storm systems that normally affect that area anyway ... making the Midwest summer rains even more heavy and widespread than usual.
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 3,532,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob rulz View Post
It's possible to rain with humidity under 80%, but it won't rain hard. Humidity regularly gets below 10% on summer days.
I've been in extremely dry western places where there were flooding rains --- the humidity at ground level isn't critical to the rain intensity, although ground-level humidity does quickly rise after the rain begins.

And for relative humidity below 10%, Las Vegas is the place! Most of the region immediately east of the Sierras gets RH lower than 10% frequently in summer, except when monsoon flow is moving in that direction.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob rulz View Post
115 heat index would be unbearable for me.
Yeah, it's not exactly the kind of weather that makes you think "I wish I could be a jackhammer operator or a roofer..."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valley Native View Post
In some ways, the entire Western U.S. and even the central U.S. is affected by the Southwest's summer monsoon. In 1993, Arizona had one of its driest summers on record ... but that was the summer when the Midwest had all those torrential rains and floods. Part of that was caused by a strong southwesterly wind flow, which pushed the monsoon moisture into the central U.S.
Yup. Weather everywhere affects weather everywhere else. It's all one gigantic interconnected system. That's why I find it so funny when people think that a hot summer means it must be hot everywhere. Last night I was speaking with a very smart friend who lives in Mississippi and he was griping about the heat and drought this summer. When I said that central Texas is continuing to have one of its coolest, wettest years on record, he was shocked. But it makes sense. Stuff moves around but it all balances out on a global basis and if you average weather across the entire globe, it's remarkably stable. Even a massive hurricane results in nearby areas of extremely tranquil sunny weather, because atmospheric energy in the region is being funneled into a single massive system.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
9,594 posts, read 25,203,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHarvester View Post
Yeah, it's not exactly the kind of weather that makes you think "I wish I could be a jackhammer operator or a roofer..."
LOL!

No, I enjoy heat index of 115 F when I have nothing really to do so I can wear shorts, sandals and a light shirt (or no shirt), go as fast or slow as I want and consume plenty of cold drinks.

I even think it can be fun how much cold drinks you can consume without needing to go to the bathroom in very hot weather versus any other weather. Like when you aren't very warm your stomach can feel bloated after maybe 30 oz of fluids, but while hot you can drink at least 20 oz without noticing it.

Quote:
Yup. Weather everywhere affects weather everywhere else. It's all one gigantic interconnected system. That's why I find it so funny when people think that a hot summer means it must be hot everywhere. Last night I was speaking with a very smart friend who lives in Mississippi and he was griping about the heat and drought this summer. When I said that central Texas is continuing to have one of its coolest, wettest years on record, he was shocked. But it makes sense. Stuff moves around but it all balances out on a global basis and if you average weather across the entire globe, it's remarkably stable. Even a massive hurricane results in nearby areas of extremely tranquil sunny weather, because atmospheric energy in the region is being funneled into a single massive system.
Good points. Heat, rain, cold etc. just shift around in unusual years to somwhere else usually. Exceptions are like when a large volcano erupts and the ash spreads globally and makes most of the world cooler than normal.
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHarvester View Post
You're smart. One of those rare individuals who understands the complexities of heat, cold, wet, and dry. Most weather forecasters don't even bother telling us about dewpoints because it's a difficult concept to grasp (apparently.)[/rant]
Thank you. You're smart too.

I've been studying weather so much probably because I've always loved the outdoors and grew to hate being cold. Due to the climate I live in we only get a handfull of days that are very enjoyable so by studying the local forecasts I attempt to make the most out of every nice day, even hour.

Dewpoint I think is a measure of how much water is in the air in total. It tells you how thick the air feels in summer and when your lips might chap in winter.

I noticed that 100 F with 35% humidity actually still has somewhat thick air, even though that's unusually dry for here, and that would probably make the dewpoint around 70 F. I also noticed that when it's cooler, say 80 F with a 70 F dewpoint the air feels just as thick on that same 100 F day.
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHarvester View Post

And beyond those simple measures, there are a few dozen added components that comprise the weather as we experience it. But because most of us are not smart, weather forecasts are dumbed-down to the median comprehension of those who can only deal with 2 variables at a time in their brains. Hence, the meteorologists only tell us about "wind chill" in winter and "heat index" in summer, neglecting all the other variables that contribute to the reality of experiencing weather in any given place at a given moment. Elevation, pressure, wind, sun intensity, and localized ambient factors all contribute to the real feel of being in a place.

I chose the words "real feel" because AccuWeather's website uses "Real Feel" as a better indicator of how hot or cold it feels to be a human outdoors in a place, rather than simply relying on the miserably inadequate measurements that are used by National Weather Forecast indicators. [/rant]
That reminds me of a day we had at 98 F. They said with the humidity it should feel 118 F. The humidity was somewhere around 55% at 98 F. (Canadian heat index formulas exaggerate it more )

Anyways I thought that heat index was kinda retarded because our afternoon windspeed was constant, sustained around 5 mph with gusts every 5-15 seconds up to 10 mph, sometimes 15 mph. Basically with the wind, I couldn't usually sense any humidity; it felt just like a blow-drier. The only people who might sense the humidex would have to be in an enclosed, unairconditioned outdoor location.
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 3,532,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCanadian View Post
Basically with the wind, I couldn't usually sense any humidity; it felt just like a blow-drier. The only people who might sense the humidex would have to be in an enclosed, unairconditioned outdoor location.
Exactly like yesterday here in Austin. Our heat index was 105, we had a nice breeze and I was out in the sun working with neighbors, chatting with friends, everyone seemed totally comfortable, some people were sitting out in the sun enjoying the afternoon. It wasn't remotely as uncomfortable as the weather people made it seem. And yet there are other days when the heat index might only be 90 but you feel miserable because the humidity is so high and there's no wind, so it's hard to breathe, and your clothes are drenched because there's no way to dry your own sweat. Warmer days with wind are much nicer.

By the way, your "humidex" cracks me up, I learned about it during a trip to Ottawa last summer. I just think the word "humidex" sounds so classically Canadian. "Oh, yah, the humidex is verry high today, eh?"
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
9,594 posts, read 25,203,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHarvester View Post
By the way, your "humidex" cracks me up, I learned about it during a trip to Ottawa last summer. I just think the word "humidex" sounds so classically Canadian. "Oh, yah, the humidex is verry high today, eh?"
.

I use heat index and humidex interchangeably.

(I never heard it was only a Canadian word though)
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
270 posts, read 1,173,548 times
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Kitt Peak National Observatory, in the desert west of Tucson, as well as a few other observatories in the region, typically shuts down most observing activities in late summer (late July, August). Along with the rain, there's also a distinct increase in cloud cover in that season, of course.

Besides avoiding a generally frustrating and unproductive interval, it provides a time to do extended engineering & maintenance work on the facilities. Also, there's some damage-prevention to the shutdown as well. Observatories are on mountaintops, and at the end of many hundred miles of power supply lines; both mountaintops and those long power lines make nice lightning attractants. When your power supply takes a lightning strike -- which happens mostly in the late afternoon or evening, when the storms are going -- even the best power-conditioning equipment can still pass on a transient that can cook a sensitive instrument strapped to the back end of a telescope.
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