DISCUSSION: There is no question that as the Earth’s climate continues to gradually warm, the average temperatures associated with seasonal and intra-seasonal trends are most definitely in the midst of an upward trend. However, the primary issue which the majority of the general public tends to complain about is the gradual increases being observed in association with regional dew point temperatures. It is first worth noting that the dew point temperature is best defined as the temperature at which air becomes saturated with water in a given situation.
More specifically, once a given air parcel has reached the dew-point temperature at a particular air pressure, the water vapor in the air is considered to be at a state of equilibrium with liquid water, meaning water vapor is condensing at the same rate at which liquid water is evaporating. Therefore, it is at this point that you will start to observe small droplets of water beginning to condense on the surfaces of various objects which are being exposed to the nearby ambient environment. In addition, with higher dew points, there is a higher capacity for the atmosphere to contain greater average quantities of atmospheric water vapor and consequently have a higher potential for increased Summer-time thunderstorm potential. Also, bear in mind that with higher dew points, strong to severe thunderstorms would consequently have a greater potential for generating greater average rainfall totals both over shorter and longer-term periods.
Having said that, it is important to note that rising dew point temperatures have a consequence on people’s general way of life based on the fact that higher dew points lead to situations with people not being able to cool as easily due to natural water and perspiration not evaporating as effectively from the surface of their skin. Hence, as the threat for even further increasing average Summer and intra-seasonal dew point temperature continues, there is no doubt that this will continue to have a major impact on mankind as we continue to move further into the 21st century. So, as you can see, higher dew points can have major impacts on both convective storm issues as well as human health-related impacts due to greater dew points also creating issues for people contending with chronic conditions including (but certainly not limited to) asthma.
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© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz