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Name: Carol
Status: other
Age: 50s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001


Question:
What causes humidity to be so high in areas such as Baltimore and lower in areas such as Maine or New England States?


Replies:
Carol,

The further north, the more likely that moist air from the Gulf of Mexico or the gulfstream Atlantic will not reach you. Baltimore and other coastal locations are more likely to be humid because of the proximity of the ocean (this can be true even along the coastline of Maine during a Bermuda high pressure event). However, high pressure areas centered off of the east coast allow large amounts of water vapor to accumulate, particularly in the southeastern and middle Atlantic states, and along the seaboard as wet air blows in off of the ocean. More inland and northern areas receive mostly continental air (from the landmass) and this air has not normally accumulated as much moisture.

You can get an idea of the amount of moisture in the atmosphere by looking at an infrared water vapor satellite view at either the Intellicast or Weather Channel web sites. The water vapor shown is throughout the depth of the atmosphere, but most water vapor is in the lowest level, the Troposphere, where we live.

David Cook
meteorologist at Argonne Nat. Lab.


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