What is Dew Point?



Dew Point
The dew point is the temperature at which the water vapor in a sample of air at constant barometric pressure condenses into liquid water at the same rate at which it evaporates. At temperatures below the dew point, water will leave the air. The condensed water is called dew when it forms on a solid surface. The condensed water is called either fog or a cloud, depending on its altitude, when it forms in the air.

The dew point is the saturation temperature for water in air. The dew point is associated with relative humidity. A high relative humidity implies that the dew point is closer to the current air temperature. Relative humidity of 100% indicates the dew point is equal to the current temperature and that the air is maximally saturated with water. When the moisture content remains constant and temperature increases, relative humidity decreases.

General aviation pilots use dew-point data to calculate the likelihood of carburetor icing and fog, and to estimate the height of the cloud base.

At a given temperature but independent of barometric pressure, the dew point is a consequence of the absolute humidity, the mass of water per unit volume of air. If both the temperature and pressure rise, however, the dew point will increase and the relative humidity will decrease accordingly. Reducing the absolute humidity without changing other variables will bring the dew point back down to its initial value. In the same way, increasing the absolute humidity after a temperature drop brings the dew point back down to its initial level. If the temperature rises in conditions of constant pressure, then the dew point will remain constant but the relative humidity will drop. For this reason, a constant relative humidity (%) with different temperatures implies that when it's hotter, a higher fraction of the air is water vapor than when it's cooler.







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