ATLANTA — Cold, dense Arctic air isn't just brutal when you step outside, but it can also be a huge headache inside your house. This is because your indoor relative humidity can drop very low.
The incoming cold air will send the dew point to around 0° in Atlanta. What is the dew point? It's a more pure measurement of how humid or dry the air is. The dew point is the temperature in which our air would have to cool to reach saturation.
In the summer, we deal with high humidity. Dew point temperatures climb into the 60s and 70s and it can feel sticky and muggy outside.
During cold snaps in the winter, we have the opposite issue. As the dew point drops and your furnace or heater works on overdrive to warm your house up, the relative humidity drops very, very low.
If you try to keep your house at 70° this weekend with the dew point around 0°, the relative humidity drops to just 6% inside. This is much, much lower than what is the idea humidity indoors, 30% to 50%.
What is the impact of the dry air?
- Static! Notice getting shocked when touching a doorknob, your hair sticking up after brushing it, or your clothes clinging to you? This is a result of the static electricity.
- Dry skin, chapped lips, and nosebleeds
How can you combat this?
- Run a humidifier in your house to add water vapor in the air. If you don't have a humidifier, you can leave some water in the sink or set out bowls of water around the house that will evaporate and add some humidity in the air.
- Moisturize & apply lip balm
- Stay hydrated!
RELATED: Remember the 4 P's: How you can protect people, pets, plants and pipes ahead of cold weather
Luckily, the cold dry air should be short-lived across North Georgia.