Monday, March 15, 2010

Extreme Moisture / Dryness

In the mode of Khan's "Dirty silverware stored next to clean" contrast, the remarkable moisture content of tropical humid air vs desert dry air still has my senses reeling. Phoenix has an average relatively humidity less than 30% for 350 or so days a year. It's the Sonoran desert, it's supposed to be dry, and full of cacti. The Virgin Islands get very little annual rain fall, and have a very harsh climate. Sure it is tropical, and has twice as much humidity as the Sonoran desert, but we saw fence post cacti, prickly pear, and various ocotillo like succulents all over St.Thomas and St.John... and it rained for 60% of the vacation, but that's highly unusual for the V.I.

Sweating in the Virgin Islands meant being wet for most of the day, and changing clothing more than once a day. Sweating in Phoenix (except in July and August) is nearly imperceptible on exposed skin with a light breeze, as it nearly instantaneously evaporates while the human body tries desperately to cool itself through turbulent convection enhanced evaporation. Yet both locales support succulents, small lizards, and have a general lack of land based gastropod mollusks. Mold thrives in RH above 65% - as the Carolinas were covered in the stuff on nearly every surface (side walks, deck chairs, siding, brick, crawl spaces, air vents, closet walls, etc). The Sonoran desert has a definite lack of a mold-friendly environment. The V.I. had somewhere in the middle ground between SC and AZ in regards to observable mold, at least in the places tourists go (I did not inspect any crawl spaces while I was vacationing there).

We ran a dehumidifier in the rental villa for a day, and it FILLED the 2 gallon reservoir in about 10 hours. Wow. Quite humid. I could run a dehumidifier here in Phoenix all month and not get that much.

So my respiratory system went from a tropical, humid, semi-moldy environment in the V.I., to the mold haven of Atlanta Hartsfield airport Saturday evening, and onward to the desiccant like Sonoran desert by midnight Saturday night. At least the coughing spells have decreased incrementally, since last Friday evening. Now if I can just get back into drinking a 1/2 dozen large glasses of water a day, since the cheap Caribbean rum is now 4 time zones away. =)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.