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July 06, 2010

Humidity Lowest When?


Dear Mr. Nicco,

I have recently moved to Gilroy from England and I have some questions about humidity and temperature. One of my hobbies is painting toy soldiers and generally step 1 is use a spray paint to prime one of them. However, spray paint, in this application is notoriously fussy and generally the lower the humidity the better and obviously a scalding temperature doesn't help. I was wondering what the best time of day is for the lowest humidity and what times of year historically have the lowest humidity, keeping in mind the temperature can't be too high during the time I'm spraying. I'm planning on getting one of those home weather stations, my father has one and it's cool but until then I could really use your advice.

Thank you very much,

Good Morning Phillip,

I Hope you experienced a smooth relocation and enjoy garlic.  Lol

In Gilroy you will experience the lowest humidity during the hottest part of the afternoon.  

Dew point temperature is the temperature an air mass needs to cool in order to reach saturation.  In an average weather pattern, the daily diurnal cycle of temperatures means you will find the highest humidity in the morning when the temperature and dew point temperature are nearly the same with the opposite true in the afternoon.

Another aspect to consider is which way is the wind blowing.  When the sea breeze (on shore wind) reaches Gilroy, whether it is day or night, the humidity will be higher.  Our driest days tend to fall in September and October when we experience more land breezes (off shore wind). A land breeze can occur any time of the year.  The fall is exceptionally dry as the ground and vegetation are now parched from a lack of rain for the last 4 to 6 moths.  This is also when we experience our greatest wild fire threat.

From the conditions you require, the best time to spray would be in the morning before 10 during a land breeze event.

Hope this helps.

Btw – would love to see some pictures.



Mike Nicco
KGO-TV Morning & Midday Meteorologist


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