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Humidity

Ottawa, Canada
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Humidity

I live in Canada and have never been to the American south. Despite the reputation we have for cold weather, it actually gets brutally humid in the summer where I live, which sets off my asthma and forces me to hide in the air conditioned house much of the time. We are thinking of renting a cottage down there this summer, but I am concerned about the humidity. I understand that NC is generally very humid, but my hope is that on the ocean the breeze may cut the humidity and make it manageable. Is that just wishful thinking on my part?

11 replies to this topic
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1. Re: Humidity

The good thing about the Outer Banks is the wind. It's fairly constant. So even on hot days there is usually wind, which helps keep the humidity down. Could you visit in May or October, when it's not too hot? That might be better for you.

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Outer Banks
Outer Banks
North Carolina Coast, NC
Kitty Hawk, North...
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2. Re: Humidity

You did not mention when you are coming. June would be less of an issue than July or August. As Joy said, we almost always have wind from some direction, but it can get pretty humid and hiding in the AC is often something I do in the summer.

Virginia Beach...
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3. Re: Humidity

Humidity can be high here in the summer but not necessarily every day.

Generally speaking, the humidity tends to be more of an issue during July and especially August.

Southport, North...
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4. Re: Humidity

I sympathize--I also have asthma. July/August are usually the hottest, most humid months down here. However you're better off in the Outer Banks than the regular coastal towns (where I live). I've been to OBX in May several times and had no problems.

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Outer Banks
Outer Banks
North Carolina Coast, NC
Chapel Hill, North...
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5. Re: Humidity

I think it really is so individual w/ regard to your asthma. I would recommend definitely bringing your inhaler!

In NC there are a lot of potential allergens — pollen, mold & mildew, lots of vegetation. I have a friend who grew up here in the middle of the state and she moved to Canada (Toronto) and says that her allergies and asthma are so much better there and when she comes back to visit NC she has to go back on her allergy meds, even in winter, BUT she's not at the beach and she's not YOU!

Relative humidity is not really the best gauge of how it feels. Dewpoint is a better way to measure how bad humidity feels. The breeze off the ocean helps A LOT, but you do need to be on the beach to get the most out of that.

You can compare weather stats for Ottawa and Nags Head here:

Ottawa July 2017: https:/…MonthlyHistory.html

Nags Head July 2017: https:/…MonthlyHistory.html

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Toronto
Toronto
Ontario, Canada
Ottawa
Ottawa
Ontario, Canada
Nags Head
Nags Head
Outer Banks, NC
Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Humidity

Whoops - that's was a case of speaking different languages. In Canada, 'summer' always and only means 'July and August'.

Chapel Hill, North...
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7. Re: Humidity

In general parlance summer here is June, July, and August here because those are the months most kids are off school, which also corresponds to meteorological summer. In astronomical terms it's June 21 to Sept 22.

In terms of temperatures, in NC we have summer temps from May to Sept and often days in April and early October qualify. While the average high temp at Nags Head in the winter is in the 50s(10-15C), there have been record highs above 80F/27C in all but January, when the record there was 77F/25C. Average temps at Nags Head on the OBX in July are right around 86 or 87F/30C.

Edited: 11 January 2018, 16:46
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Nags Head
Nags Head
Outer Banks, NC
MD
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8. Re: Humidity

If you decide to try it, I strongly suggest going for an ocean front home. Most of the beach in the outer banks is bordered by large sand dunes. When the breeze is coming off the ocean, the dunes can literally block that breeze for most of the houses behind it. Last summer, my family arrived on a pretty hot and humid August day. We unloaded the car into the house and packed the groceries that we had delivered, and then, as usual, we set our minds to go get our feet in the water. The house we rented was about 200 yds from the beach. Anyway, when we started talking about everyone getting down to the beach, everyone was so exhausted from working in the heat and humidity at the house, that we had no energy for it. But there's no way I was doing all that work and not touching the ocean on day 1, so I grabbed my youngest boy and we walked down to the beach. It was so hot on the way, I was beginning to regret leaving the AC'd house. As we're climbing the steps to get up and over the sand dune, we hit the top of the climb and suddenly the gentle ocean breeze hit us and revived us immediately. We looked down into that paradise on the beach and were completely refreshed. It was like 2 different worlds divided by the sand dune.We ran back and forced the rest of the gang to follow and we all enjoyed a few hours of beach time to detox from the trip. Anyway, I think the point is clear, an ocean front home sits right at the dune with decks that enable you to enjoy the breezes. So even though those homes are significantly more expensive, they would be worth it for you. And if you can vacation in September, those homes become much more affordable, not to mention the humidity does start to subside by then as well.

Hope that helps.

Centerville, Ohio
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9. Re: Humidity

I strongly suggest going for an ocean front home

====

This is our experience and well worth the extra $$

Do google National Seashore

Ottawa, Canada
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10. Re: Humidity

Thank you! This all helps a great deal. The dew point explanation was really illuminating, especially the comparison of Nags Head with Ottawa. There were a good number of days here last summer where I couldn't venture outside, and Nags Head at its lowest dewpoint is still higher than Ottawa. That translates into me feeling pretty awful.

I think the only way we could manage it would be a beach front rental then, but that's likely too expensive.

You all have been really informative, and I appreciate it. Clearly, a trip there is going to have to wait until my asthma is more under control. That's too bad, because it looks very beautiful.

Edited: 16 January 2018, 17:02
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Nags Head
Nags Head
Outer Banks, NC
Ottawa
Ottawa
Ontario, Canada
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