Not only is Texas one of the hottest states in the U.S., but it’s also pretty humid. Being right next to the Gulf of Mexico causes the climate to be muggy and uncomfortable, especially in coastal cities such as Houston. This might raise the question, how bad is Houston’s humidity?
The climate in Houston is described as humid subtropical. Naturally, this city has its fair share of humidity. However, it’s not as bad as you might expect. Simply put, the humidity is at its worst during the summer months. Yet, the humidity levels are quite bearable in winter.
How Bad Is Houston Humidity?
Houston is the third most humid city in the United States. That’s how bad the humidity is! The average relative humidity in Houston is about 75%. To clarify, the ideal humidity levels for humans range from 30 to 50%.
It might be surprising to find out that the high humidity in Houston makes it seem hotter than it is. Though there’s more vapor in the air, the humidity can reduce the effectiveness of sweating, which is the body’s primary method of combating heat.
Why Is It So Humid in Houston?
The reason why it’s so humid in Texas is because this state is neighboring the Gulf of Mexico. Houston, in particular, is right on the coast.
Some multiple bayous and rivers cross the city. Not only that, but Houston is home to Lake Houston, which extends over a whopping 11,854 acres.
Naturally, as the weather gets hotter, these bodies of water evaporate, creating more humidity.
Houston’s Humidity in Summer vs. Winter
The humidity levels of Houston are different throughout the seasons. Let’s check out how the humidity of Houston is in summer compared to winter.
Houston Humidity in Summer
The humidity in Houston can be unbearable during the summer. In the afternoons, it can reach as high as 90%.
Houston’s rainy season is actually during the summer. The wettest month in Houston is June. Naturally, the rain coupled with the hot weather can increase humidity levels.
Additionally, Houston mainly consists of low-lying ground. This means that the water pools up when it rains, further contributing to humidity.
While hurricanes aren’t daily in Houston, they’re still common. The hurricane season in Texas lasts from June to November.
Hurricanes bring extreme rainfall, which in turn causes humidity levels to spike. The humidity during hurricane season can be pretty hazardous.
Houston Humidity in Winter
Houston winters also get their fair share of humidity. Though, the climate is a lot less muggy than during the summer.
The humidity levels during the winter are quite comfortable. Even if the weather is warm, it doesn’t get humid as easily.
How to Cope with The Humidity in Houston
There are many ways you can cope with the high humidity of Houston. Let’s check them out!
1. Stay Hydrated
Humidity can make you feel a lot hotter. Your body can’t cool down as effectively as normal. So, it’s a no-brainer that staying hydrated is essential.
You can opt for plain water or electrolyte drinks to keep you hydrated. On the other hand, stay away from caffeinated beverages. A tall iced coffee might be tempting, but it might cause dehydration.
2. Stay Indoors
It goes without saying that the best way to beat the heat is to completely stay out of it. That’s why staying indoors is the best course of action to cope with Houston’s humidity.
To make things easier, most indoor locations in Houston, including shopping malls, restaurants, and other public buildings, have functioning AC and ventilation systems to help with the extreme weather.
If you can’t help but be outdoors, try to limit your time in the sun, particularly during the afternoon as it’s the hottest and most humid time. You should also avoid any intense physical activity as this might increase the risk of heat stroke.
3. Frequent Showers
It goes without saying that showering is the best way to keep cool, especially during the summer. Showering will help eliminate any excess sweat and keep you fresh.
To get the most out of the cool shower, try using a mint shower gel, which will help cool your body for a longer time. Also, skip out on any lotions or moisturizers after your shower as those won’t absorb as easily and will only leave you feeling muggy.
4. Wear Light Clothes
Your choice of clothes also matters greatly when dealing with highly humid conditions. You don’t want any clothes clinging to your skin.
The best clothes to wear in Houston’s humidity should be quick-drying and light. Go for breathable fabrics such as linen and cotton. In addition, your outfits should be flowy, and light in color.
If you want extra protection, you can get UPF-rated clothing. These clothes are specifically designed to protect you from sun rays, thus keeping you cool no matter how high the humidity is.
5. Use a Dehumidifier
If you’ve escaped the humidity by remaining indoors but you still feel clammy, this might be your sign to get a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers work greatly in controlling your home’s humidity levels. They condense the water vapor on the cooling coils.
The great thing about dehumidifiers is that there are plenty of options to choose from. For example, portable humidifiers are perfect as you can carry them around wherever you go.
Naturally, these won’t really help if you’re out on a walk. Still, they can make a huge difference in your car or your office area.
Sweating can be a huge problem during humidity. Nobody likes feeling moist. Not to mention how uncomfortable wet clothes can be.
Usually, the cool air dries up your sweat fairly quickly. However, this isn’t the case when the weather is humid.
The best solution for this problem is to eliminate sweating altogether. That’s why antiperspirants come in handy. Antiperspirants clog up your sweat glands which greatly reduces sweating.
- Houston’s Humidity Level: currentresults.com
- UPF-rated clothing: rei.com
- Dehumidifiers: nytimes.com