Occluded Fronts and Dew Points
Date: Summer 2012
Ok, so my question has to do with relative humidity and the dew point. I understand that the dew point is the point at which condensation starts to form on a solid object when the temperature drops to or below it, and I understand that humidity is the amount of moisture in the air at any given temperature. What I would like to know is why, during a occluded front to be specific, the dew point drops. From the notes I've gathered, it would seem that the temperature stays the same during an occluded front and I'm just not sure if that effects the dew point or not. Does the temperature have nothing to do with the dew point dropping? Did I get the wrong information? Or am I misinterpreting the ideas behind dew point, occluded fronts, and temperature?
The dew point is an indirect measure of the amount of water in the air.
Much water in the air (it is humid and clammy), and the dew point is near the present temperature.
If the dew point drops that says there is less moisture in the air - it is direr.
So, when the front passes, new, drier air is brought into the area and the dew point drops.
To directly answer your question, the actual temperature of the air and the dew point do not tell us much about the humidity of the air, BUT the difference between the two temperatures tells us a lot.
Hope this helps.
Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
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Update: November 2011