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What is Humidity?

Humidity refers to the presence of water vapor in the environment around some given point. In other words, the measure of the amount of moisture in the air.


Why is Humidity important?

Humidity is a useful indicator for predicting the likelihood of different weather phenomena such as cloud formation and precipitation. Humidity also shares relationships with other factors within these phenomena such as temperature and Atmospheric Pressure. Humidity is also important because of the impact it has on living organisms.

Humidity affects the ability of animals and plants to cool themselves. High humidity lowers the effectiveness of an organism's efforts to lower its internal temperature. For example, the human body’s sweat glands excrete sweat onto the surface of the skin in order to cool down through evaporation. The process of evaporation is slowed by high humidity in the surrounding environment. the rate of evaporation is influenced by a number factors including the concentration gradient of the water and the movement of the surrounding air.

How is Humidity measured?

Humidity is typically measured using an hygrometer. There are three main measurements of humidity: absolute humidity, relative humidity and specific humidity.

  1. Absolute humidity describes the mass moisture content of a given volume of air expressed in grams per cubic meter (g/m3)
  2. Relative humidity (recorded as a percentage) is a measure of the current absolute humidity relative to the maximum (saturation) for air at that given volume and temperature (as both temperature and atmospheric pressure influence the physical state of water)
  3. Specific humidity is the ratio of the mass of water to the total mass of the given volume of air (again, at the given temperature and pressure)

The advanced weather sensor on the SW01 ☒CHIP measures the relative humidity (%) of the immediate atmosphere.