my southern life embellished by a living faith in God

Southern Humidity – Our Southern Curse

Southern Humidity – Our Southern Curse

Southern Humidity – Our Southern Curse

This morning, around eight o’clock, I was looking out my kitchen window and saw a doe with a tiny spotted fawn in tow. This was the smallest fawn I had ever seen. I grabbed my camera and headed out the front door. By the time I came near the garden they were gone.

On my way back to the front yard, I noticed a couple of new blooms on the wisteria bush and I stopped to take a few pictures. Well, this gets me on a totally new subject. Southern Humidity.

What exactly is humidity? Humidity describes the amount of water vapor in the air. Here in the southern coastal states we know all about humidity but how can I describe this phenomenon to someone who has never experienced the Southern heat and humidity together?

Stay with me, ok? This reminds me of when my daughter was young and would play with her Barbie dolls in the tub. I was surprised the first time I saw her playing with them in the tub in full ballroom attire! I told her to take the clothes off before she played with them in the tub but she said they could not be naked. Well, what does this have to do with this story? Just imagine getting ready for a very formal event, evening gown, jewelry, make-up, hair & of course hair spray…. and walking into a sauna and sitting there for a couple of hours. Can you imagine what you would look like when you walked out in a wet dress and hair falling down into your face? Well, my friend that is Southern humidity!

Who knew that in the 60’s and early 70’s that I was truly conducting my own scientific research on humidity? Well, I read on PBS Newshour that in 1783, Horace Benedict de Saussure, a Swiss physicist and geologist built the first hygrometer. This was a device he built to measure humidity and he built it using strands of HAIR as part of his experiment. His discovery was the same as mine – the more humid the air the curlier the hair.

My only question to Horace Benedict de Saussure is; if you discovered the
relative effects of humidity on hair, (i.e. humidity makes hair curl) why didn’t you do anything about it? Why Horace, why?

Over two hundred years later and humidity still has the same effect on my hair and I have tried almost every hair product out there. I don’t even care any more. Anyway that is just a bad hair day in the South.

I also learned another interesting fact. I always thought coastal Mississippi had the highest humidity in the world but according to the article on PBS Newshour, the winner is Saudi Arabia, with the highest recorded dew point temperature of 95 back in July 2003 in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Who knew?

If you are truly interested in learning more about humidity you might want to check out their article at www.pbs.org (author, Catherine Woods) which was very interesting to me.

If you enjoyed reading this article, please leave a comment and let me know.  I love my readers and your opinion is appreciated.

 

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