1% humidity? Hot wind nearly sucks all the water out of the California desert air

FILE: Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve (Photo: David Dufresne)

There's dry...

And then there's desert dry...

And then there's California desert dry when a southwest wind blows.

Sinking air rolling off the San Gabriel Mountains not only brought some searing heat into the Mojave Desert, but some extremely dry air. As temperatures reached triple digits, dew points -- the temperature at which air become saturated -- dropped into single digits, or in some cases, even below zero!

That made for relative humidity reading about as far as they can possibly go -- in one case, as low as 1%!

Edwards Air Force Base reported it was 101 degrees with a dew point of -16 Tuesday. Nearby Lancaster wasn't much better at 101 degrees and a +4 degree dew point for a humidity of 3 percent.

Now, Edwards actually reported even drier air on Monday afternoon with a temperature of 104 degrees and a dew point of -30 for a relative humidity of 0.45% -- that would technically I think set a world record for lowest humidity ever recorded. However, I'm a bit dubious and wondering if the sensor hiccuped (although it did report -30 dew point for three hours:)

(I think at 0.45 percent humidity, swimming pools spontaneously evaporate, right?)

Nonetheless, even if the actual humidity is closer to 2-3 percent, I'm sure there's a run on lip balm -- and what should be a region-wide ban on wearing socks on carpeted surfaces (Zot!!!)

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