Ever wondered why high humidity in winter isn't uncomfortable, but high summer humidity makes the air feel sticky?
The reason: Temperature
In Auckland it is currently hot, muggy and wet. It rains a lot in winter but why is the air uncomfortable when it is humid in summer?
The reason is temperature. Warmer temperatures can hold more moisture than colder temperatures. Thus. it is temperature that makes all the difference; cold winter air, even when saturated, contains far less moisture than warm summer air.
Relative humidity, a common measure of atmospheric moisture, is temperature-dependent. So, 1 m3 of air when the temperature is 0°C requires only 3.77 grams of water to saturate it — that is, to raise its relative humidity to 100%.
However, 14.62 grams of water is required to saturate that 1 m3 of air when the temperature is 20°C. That's over 10 times more water. In this way, air at 20°C degrees with a relative humidity of 100 percent contains 10x more water than air at zero with humidity at 100%.
So, expect to feel a more sticky in summer and lets hope the sun comes out soon!