Breakdown: Why humidity is typically higher in the morning

Published: Feb. 28, 2021 at 7:52 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - If you pay attention to the relative humidity throughout the day, you will notice that it is usually highest in the morning.

Relative humidity is a percentage out of 100 that shows how close the air is to saturation. If the humidity is 50%, the air has half the water vapor needed to reach saturation. If it’s 100% (like when it’s raining), that means that the air is saturated.

Relative humidity is RELATIVE to the temperature, so it will rise or fall based on the temperature. It is a measure of the actual amount of water vapor in the air based on the temperature. Warm air (like in the afternoon on a sunny day) has a LOWER relative humidity because the air can hold more moisture. However, cold or cooler air will have a HIGHER relative humidity. This happens in the morning because the cooler air is closer to that saturation point

The humidity that you can feel is absolute humidity, which is why meteorologists use absolute humidity or the dewpoint. This is because it measures the actual moisture in the air, regardless of the temperature.

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