During the hotter seasons, the atmosphere in the air is searing and causes you to sweat profusely. This is called humidity. To understand more about humidity, we need to ask the basic questions like What is humidity and what causes humidity?
If you want to know more about this phenomenon that happens during the summertime, you should read this article! Here we will be going over what is it, what causes it, why it happens, and how humidity is measured when it is in the atmosphere!
What Is Humidity?
Let us start this adventure by answering the simple question: what is humidity? In short, humidity is created when there is water vapor in the air. The level of humidity is determined by the amount of water vapor: if there is a lot of water vapor in the air, then there will be more humidity.
On the other hand, if there is hardly any water vapor or little water vapor in the air, then this means there be less humidity. The higher the humidity there is, the wetter it will feel outside.
Weather reports you see on TV or online refer humidity as relative humidity. Relative humidity is the exact amount of water vapor that is in the air, typically expressed in a percentage.
Why Does Humidity Happen?
Like we mentioned in what is humidity section, what causes humidity is the water vapor in the air. For a more scientific explanation, water evaporates into the atmosphere where it will disperse into the air. Water evaporation depends on the location.
Some areas will feel hotter compared to other areas because of the water evaporation. The more water that rises into the atmosphere, the more humidity there will be. When these levels are high, it makes it hard for other substances to enter because of the humidity.
How Does Water Evaporation Cause Rain?
The cycle begins when water hits the Earth’s surface. From there, the water has to get back up into the Earth’s atmosphere. To do this, it needs to evaporate. Evaporation is the process where water changes to a gas or a vapor. Evaporation is an essential step for water to go back into the atmosphere.
According to studies, 90 percent of moisture that is produced by oceans, lakes, seas, and rivers are brought back into the atmosphere by evaporation, while the other 10 percent of evaporation is from plant transpiration. There is another form of process that water follows called sublimation.
Sublimation is the name of the process where water changes from a solid (like ice or snow) into a gas. Unlike other processes, the liquid phase is not needed. This process mostly happens in dry areas like the Rocky Mountains.
Water evaporation plays a huge part on what causes humidity, but how do we measure it? This will be answered in the last section!
How Do We Measure Humidity?
To measure the amount of humidity in the air, there are thermometer tools known as the hygrometer. One of these hygrometers, named the psychrometer, has two parts that are held together by a handle and are attached by a chain. One of the parts of the psychrometer measures the dry humidity and the air temperature.
The other part of the psychrometer has a cloth that helps measure the dampness of the air. The cloth catches the water molecules which will determine the amount of heat. As more molecules are collected, the lower the temperature on the psychrometer will be due to the molecules taking heat.
The exact rate of water evaporation depends on two things: vapor pressure and water vapor. You will then be able to determine humidity by comparing the two meters.
Other types of hygrometers that are used to measure humidity are analog hygrometer, digital hygrometer, weather stations with hygrometers, or using AcuRite (a shop where you can buy things that measures the humidity in your house).
So in conclusion, what causes humidity is the level of water vapor. If there is a lot of water vapor in the air, the level of humidity would be astronomical. Water evaporates into the air where it will fall from the sky, creating rain. If you want to measure humidity, try out AcuRite or the other hygrometers.