The Australian Climate: Humidity Explained.

It’s time to get hot and sweaty. Yes, today I’m going to be talking about humidity. I don’t have any photographs of humidity, but that’s probably a good thing.

This is rocket science! No, it is, really! I have tried to understand humidity and the more I read the more confused I get. So if we have any rocket scientists reading today, perhaps you can leave a comment and clear up my confusion.

But in the absence of any intervention by a person with a brain, here’s my understanding of humidity. To understand humidity, you need to understand the following terms:

  • Absolute humidity
  • Specific humidity
  • Mixing ratio
  • Vapour pressure
  • Saturation
  • Saturated vapour pressure
  • Dew-point
  • Frost point
  • Wet-bulb temperature
  • Relative humidity

I don’t!

I’ve tried, but by the time I have read and understood the definition of the last one on the list, I’ve forgotten what the definition was of the first one on the list. I’ve been in this never ending cycle for about an hour and a half now.

So now I have a headache as well as feeling very sweaty.

So let’s try a different approach.

Yesterday, here in Brisbane, it was unbearably hot and sweaty. The worst I think it has been since my arrival here in November 2007. I had the misfortune to have to shovel some dirt off of the pavement, (heavy rains washed topsoil over it) just a 10 minute job, but by the time I’d finished my entire T-shirt was drenched.

I know, yuck, sorry.

Here’s what the weather stats said about Brisbane’s humidity yesterday.


Temperature 26 °C
Dew Point 24 °C
Humidity 90%

Lets contrast that with the information for a town called Ballarat, which is in the state of Victoria. It’s a long way south from here and about 100 km west of Melbourne. These stats were taken at the same time yesterday….


Temperature: 26.5 °C
Dew Point: -5.2 °C
Humidity: 12%

Note: dew point is a good measurement of how “sweaty” it’s going to feel. It’s a much better measurement than relative humidity which is almost certainly the humidity measure quoted above. Dew point is the temperature the air would need to be cooled to to achieve 100% saturation.

Hopefully, you can see how close we all were in Brisbane to that saturation point?

So, if I had been shovelling my dirt down in Ballarat, you can rest assured I would not have broken sweat. But whilst the skin of the good people of Ballarat dries out like a prune, my skin continues to feel as soft as the proverbial baby’s bottom and I will look younger than Cliff Richard when I’m 105.

So short term, I may look horrible and sweaty, but long-term it’s good for my appearance. Additionally, you can enjoy the benefits of what I call the “sweat yourself slim while you sleep” diet. I think I lost three pounds last night.

I hope that clears up the humidity thing.

Any questions?

Yes, where does humidity go?

Glad you asked. Yesterday at around 11.30 a.m. here in Brisbane, humidity dispensed itself all over the city in a frenzied downpour, commonly known as flash flooding.

Like this………

And with that, looks like I have some more dirt to shovel away from the path.

Visa Assessment Service
{ 8 comments… add one }
  • ziad nader alnoaymi November 15, 2014, 8:17 am |

    hi plz plz i want to move to australia because of war in our country iam from syria and now iam living in lebanon with my family a have 2 childs i want to move and work in order to live good life thank you

    • BobinOz November 16, 2014, 9:35 pm |

      I can’t help you personally, I’m not qualified to do that, but there is a lot of useful information on this website and also details of my MARA agent and the service he provides which may well help you.

      Australia isn’t an easy country to get into, but if you want to start looking into it, please watch the video on my page called Visas.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Lorne September 2, 2010, 5:46 am |

    Hey Bob, wondering how someone like myself with asthma would hold up in the australian climate. I know where i live now in canada(and the worst part) its a bad humidity, bad air quality, much better up North however in Australia I have heard it is a dry heat in most parts. I should probably avoid the rain forest areas and seek the dry dessert, Any suggestions or tips? anyone you know with asthma there? How is the australian air quality, I read Tasmania has the best air in the world.

    Thanks for your help buddy, cheers! Lorne

    • BobinOz September 4, 2010, 9:35 pm |

      Hi Lorne

      I’d be guessing if I tried to answer this one, but sometimes I like guessing. My guess would be stick to the south and stay away from the major cities to enjoy dry heat and good air quality. I’m sure the air in Tasmania is up there among the best in the world, after all, it’s pretty remote.

      That said, lots of people have asthma here in Australia, something like 1 in 4 children and 2 million sufferers in all. So it’s not asthma free.

      That’s all I got, maybe you should check out the National Asthma Council Australia.



      • Ozbloke37 January 26, 2018, 4:46 pm |

        You’d actually want to do the opposite of that Bob 🙂 Melbourne is the worst city for asthma suffers in Australia.

        • BobinOz January 29, 2018, 7:23 pm |

          Yes, I remember reading that a couple of years back; apparently, Melbourne is the allergy capital of the world. I suspect that asthma is a kind of allergy in itself, so Melbourne would not be a good idea. I’ve just done a quick Google and discovered some stats, you can download an infographic at the bottom of the page…

          10.8% of Australians suffer from asthma, but in Northern Territory it’s only 8.2%.

          I did say I was guessing 🙂

  • BobinOz February 19, 2010, 12:39 am |

    Oh, I’m with you on that one Emmanuel, I never complain about the heat and I’d much rather be clammy than cold. And being rained on when it’s hot is so much nicer, almost enjoyable.
    I don’t miss the English weather at all and I’m not keen to try out a Chicago winter either. Subtropical suits me.

  • Emmanuel February 18, 2010, 5:54 pm |

    Well, after dealing with Chicago winters for so long, I learned never to complain about the heat again. So when it gets hot in the summer, I appreciate it. So seeing as how you all don’t get very cold winters, I can accept that trade-off.

Leave a Comment

If your comment doesn’t get answered, find out why…..
FAQs and Comment Policy.