Sweating Streets?

January 5, 2008 at 12:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If you were an early riser on Saturday, you saw wet streets and sidewalks, and may have wondered if it rained.

No rain occured-all that moisture was straight from the atmosphere!

Sweaty streets are fairly common in the last half of winter and early spring, and here’s why:

Once we’ve had enough cold air to cool our soil temperatures into the 40s, sometimes we get a surge of moisture with dew points above the soil temperature.

Remember, the dew point is the temperature you have to reach (cooling) to condense water vapor from the atmosphere. Now, the streets on the ground are roughly the same temperature as the soil, and as high moisture air moves over the cooler streets, moisture condenses on the streets, and you have sweaty streets in the morning.

Usually, the soil temperature being cooler than the dew point only happens in the winter and early spring, then the soil temps warm up enough to make sweaty streets go away for another year.

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