From melting ice caps in Antarctica and Greenland to severe droughts, which have doubled the number of wildfires in the western United States between 1984 and 2015 – climate change anxiety is rising, and so is the willingness to act on it.
However climate change concerns more than just global temperature; it also affects humidity levels. We all know that too much heat can be dangerous for us, with the potential to cause heat exhaustion, dehydration and, in severe cases, death. But when you combine high temperatures with high humidity, your body will have an even harder time trying to cool itself off.
Luckily there are ways to combat this. Staying hydrated, taking cool showers and wearing loose clothing are the obvious solutions. Using a fan or investing in a dehumidifier will prevent air from becoming stale, humid, and hot.
But which cities have the best and worst humidity comfort level? HouseFresh has collected humidity data from Weather Spark for 18,830 cities across the world on their muggiest day of the year.
But how is the humidity comfort level measured?
As Weather Spark explains on their website, they “base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.”
- The most humid city in the world is Patna, India, which has “miserable” humidity for 99.2% of the day.
- Höfn, Iceland, is the most humid city in Europe, experiencing “dry” humidity for 99.1% of the day.
- The 20 most humid cities in the US all reside in Florida, ranging from 36.8% to 48.7% “miserable” humidity.
- The Maldives is the most humid travel destination, experiencing ”miserable” humidity for 96.6% of the day.
The maps below show the most dominant type of humidity within each city on the muggiest day – ranging from dry and comfortable or humid and muggy to oppressive and miserable.
NOTE: The map colors reflect the level of humidity that is most dominant on the most humid day (e.g. orange and 40% means that it’s oppressively humid for 40% of the muggiest day).
North America’s Most Humid City is San Pedro, Belize
Long, hot and wet summers are typical of San Pedro, Belize. Known for its abundance of sun, sea and sand – people often flock to the city for its heat, though those living there or visiting can expect to experience “miserable” humidity for 94.7% of the day because of it.
“Tropical the island breeze, all of nature wild and free,” Madonna sings of San Pedro in her 1987 hit La Isla Bonita. Boasting sandy streets lined with picturesque wooden houses and an array of seafood restaurants and beach bars, it’s no wonder San Pedro is a hotspot for tourism. Home to a diverse number of species, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996.
Barrancabermeja, Colombia, Is More Humid Than Any Other City in South America
Although Colombian weather is not strongly affected by seasons due to its proximity to the Equator, what will affect the climate is the altitude of the places you are visiting. The mountains are cool and fresh, while the Amazon is warm and wet year-round. Thanks to a significant amount of rainfall during the year, even throughout the driest months, Colombia is humid. The city of Barrancabermeja experiences “miserable” humidity for 94.1% of the day.
The best time to visit Colombia is December-March, which are the driest months in the Andes. However, this is an extremely popular time to visit, with both locals and international tourists, so you’ll need to book early to keep costs low.
The Fishing Port of Höfn, Iceland, Is The Most Humid City in Europe
Iceland has some very humid months and above average humidity throughout the year. The least humid month is April, and the most humid month is August. The city of Höfn, meaning “harbor,” is a fishing port in the southeast and is the most humid city in Iceland, experiencing “dry” humidity for 99.1% of the day.
Iceland is home to some of the best freshwater fishing in the world, offering miles of untouched tranquil rivers and sparkling lakes full of arctic char, salmon and trout. Although enjoyed recreationally, it is also the country’s largest export and one of the biggest sectors of its economy.
The Maldives is home to the Most Humid Island in the Middle East & Central Asia
The Maldives, with its calm, clear waters and white sand beaches, an average of eight hours of sunshine a day and a temperature which rarely falls below 25 degrees – it’s easy to see why people love to visit. However, its monsoonal seasons dramatically affect the amount of rainfall throughout the year, resulting in high humidity – especially in Hulhumale, which experiences “miserable” humidity for 96.6% of the day.
Aside from sticky heat and muggy air, which can become uncomfortable, humidity also affects visibility, which is something to consider if you are a fan of diving or snorkeling. The summer months in the Maldives are the most humid, so the best time to visit is between December and April, when the climate is drier and less windy, while temperatures are still hot.
Patna, India, is the Most Humid City in the Rest of Asia & Oceania
Patna is the largest and capital city of the state of Bihar, northeast India. It sprawls along the south bank of the Ganges River and remains one of the oldest living cities in the world. The country’s subtropical climate promises plenty of sunshine, an abundance of heat and high humidity (Patna experiences “miserable” humidity for 99.2% of the day).
Trying to pack for temperatures exceeding 100 degrees with humidity rising past 90 percent is hard to imagine, but this is a regular occurrence in India, especially in the summer months just before the monsoon season. To combat the heat and humidity, tourists are advised to wear lightweight, loose but modest clothing. Tight clothes can chafe, irritate and will show sweat patches. Loose garments in natural fibers, such as cotton or linen, will allow the skin to breathe and cool you off.
The Coastal Town of Jacqueville is the Most Humid in Africa
Africa is the second-largest continent in the world both in size and population, after Asia in both cases. On September 13th, 1922, the world’s hottest temperature was recorded at 57.8 degrees (136.0 °F) in ‘Aziziya, Libya. However, this was later proven to be an inaccurate reading of a thermometer. The hottest temperature on record is, in fact, Death Valley in California.
Still, the African deserts are arguably some of the hottest places on Earth, particularly the Sahara Desert and the Danakil Desert. But when it comes to heat and humidity combined, Jacqueville, a coastal town in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, takes the top spot. For 92.5% of the day, the town experiences “miserable” humidity.
The Top 5 Most Humid US States Are All Located in The South
The top five most humid states are Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and Texas – all of which are located in the south of the country, with four of the states (bar South Carolina) likely to be influenced by winds sweeping up from the Gulf of Mexico.
Abbeville is a city located a little outside of the action, lying 150 miles west of New Orleans and 60 miles southwest of Baton Rouge. Thanks to sweeping winds from the Gulf, the city experiences “miserable” humidity for 68.4%of the day, making it the most humid in the state of Louisiana.
The Top Three Most Humid Cities in the World Reside in India
Due to its close proximity to the Equator, the most humid cities in the world each reside in South Asia. This corner of the world is known for its blistering heat and humid weather. India dominates our top three results, with Patna (99.2%), Bhubaneshwar (99.1%) and Cuttack (98.9%) experiencing the most “miserable” humidity.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the ideal relative humidity for health and comfort is somewhere between 30-50% humidity. Among more serious side effects, such as dehydration,heat exhaustion and simply being uncomfortable, one of the most common effects of humidity is sweating.
The Most Humid Cities in the US Can All Be Found in the State of Florida
Boasting hundreds of miles of beaches and year-round high temperatures, Florida is often better known as the Sunshine State. Its climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south, and it is the only continental state with both a tropical climate and a coral reef. As a result of hot temperatures and being bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, there is a vast amount of moisture in the air across the state.
Pinellas Park is a longtime hotspot for northern transplants and holidaymakers. The hundred year old city experiences “oppressive” humidity for 49.6% of the day — it is the most humid city in Florida.
How to Stop Sweating in Humidity and Conquer the Heat
While too much heat poses potential problems on its own, the discomfort levels and potential harm increase when combined with high humidity. Like many things in life, preparation and prevention are easier than finding a cure, so it could be a good idea to check humidity levels ahead of planning your next trip.
One good way to avoid the heat is through the use of dehumidifiers we published a guide on how to clean a dehumidifier so you can make sure that your appliance will perform if you suffer from high humidity.
Use the tabs on the table below to discover the most humid cities in the world and how they compare to where you live.
We used WeatherSpark.com to gather the humidity level for every global and US city on their muggiest day. The colored charts show the proportional breakdown of humidity level (miserable, oppressive, muggy, humid, comfortable, dry) across the 24 hours. The map colors reflect the level of humidity that is most dominant on the most humid day (e.g. orange and 40% means that it’s oppressively humid for 40% of the muggiest day).
We compiled a list of popular destinations from various sources such as TripAdvisor, Tui and Last Minute, and cross-referenced the data to reveal the most humid travel destinations. The data was collected in September 2021.
Blair, O. (2019). Best Holiday Destinations: Where You Need To Visit In 2020. elle.com
Bloom, L. (2020). The 20 Best Places To Travel In 2021: Where To Go Next. forbes.com
Kiesnoski, K. (2021). Here’s where Americans are planning to go for that summer vacation.cnbc.com
Last Minute. (2021). Top 10 Holiday Destinations. lastminute.com
Luxury Travel Magazine. (2021). 8 Best Summer Holiday Destinations in 2021. luxurytravelmagazine.com
Telegraph Travel. (2021). Winter sun, with no quarantine: The best destinations to book now. telegraph.co.uk
TripAdvisor. (2021). Popular Destinations — World. tripadvisor.com
Tui. (2021). Best Summer Holiday Destinations in Europe. tui.co.uk
Weather Spark. (2021). The Weather Year Round Anywhere on Earth. weatherspark.com