Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Are Dewpoints Relevant?
The Relative Humidity (by definition) is relative to the temperature. It's actually pretty worthless to the viewer on a summer afternoon to measure how "muggy" it is by looking at that number alone. Dewpoints are not relative to the temperature, so they can stand alone in showing how "muggy" it is across an area. Anything over 60° on the dewpoint can be "felt" on a summer afternoon. 70°+ dewpoints are REALLY muggy.
Think back to HIGH NOON on the 4th of July last year. What were you doing? Was it muggy? What would you say the Relative Humidity was at Noon? Would you believe it was 53%? Most would say higher...The dewpoint was 69°. Makes more sense, right?
Now, let's look at the dewpoint in reference to storms and rainfall. We'll start by looking at the dewpoint this week in the above graph. Each line is a model interpretation of the dewpoint. Green line/dots represent the NWS forecast. As the dewpoint ramps up, the rain chances and mugginess goes up. Good sign of the atmosphere changing and shows "the juice" that is available for developing storms! Good thing to WATCH. Good thing to TRACK. It tells us and the viewers a lot!
So, here's my question. Is the dewpoint relevant to you and your life? Should I show it on-air? Should it never be shown because it's too "sciencey" and "geeky"? There are NO wrong answers. I'd love to hear your feedback! I plan to start a poll on the right side of the blog as well.
Posted By: Ryan at 10:46 AM