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What is surface dew point temperature map and why is it important?


The dew point temperature is the temperature at which air becomes saturated with water vapor (and fog would form). The surface dew point map shows the dew point temperature at the various measurement sites on the Earth's surface.

The dew point map gives meteorologists a good idea of where fog could form if the temperature were to decrease, provides information on the amount of water in the lower part of the atmosphere, tells them the likelihood of evaporation of water from the surface, helps to determine how much water vapor is available for producing convection and clouds (and possibly thunderstorm activity), provides information for judging fire danger (which is greater for low dew point temperatures; in other words, dry conditions), etc.

David R. Cook
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory

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