Difference Wiki

Dew Point vs. Humidity: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on September 25, 2023
Dew point is the temperature at which air becomes saturated, causing dew; humidity is the amount of moisture in the air, expressed as a percentage.

Key Differences

Dew point and humidity are meteorological terms used to describe different aspects of atmospheric moisture. Dew point is the specific temperature at which air becomes saturated and water vapor condenses into liquid (dew), while humidity is a measure of the amount of water vapor currently in the air, compared to the maximum amount it could hold, expressed as a percentage.
The concept of dew point is intrinsically related to saturation. When the air temperature reaches the dew point, the air is unable to hold any more moisture, resulting in the formation of dew or fog. In contrast, humidity is a ratio and does not represent a saturation point; rather, it quantifies the concentration of water vapor in the air.
Understanding dew point and humidity is crucial for various applications such as weather forecasting and agriculture. A high dew point indicates a high moisture level in the air, which can lead to uncomfortable conditions, while a high humidity level affects how we perceive temperature, making the air feel warmer than it actually is.
Both dew point and humidity are pivotal in determining weather conditions. Dew point is particularly important in understanding cloud formation and precipitation, while humidity affects comfort levels, heat stress, and the likelihood of precipitation.
Measurement of dew point and humidity is crucial for providing accurate weather predictions. While dew point gives insight into potential dew or frost formation and is a more stable measurement, humidity provides a real-time snapshot of moisture levels in the air but can vary greatly throughout the day.

Comparison Chart


Temperature at which air becomes saturated
Amount of moisture in the air, expressed as a percentage


Potential for dew or frost formation
Current level of moisture in the air

Relation to Saturation

Represents the temperature of saturation
Represents the ratio of current to maximum moisture

Impact on Weather

Influences cloud formation and precipitation
Affects comfort levels and likelihood of precipitation


More stable measure
Can vary greatly throughout the day

Dew Point and Humidity Definitions

Dew Point

Dew point is the temperature at which air becomes saturated and dew forms.
When the temperature dropped to the dew point, dew formed on the grass.


Humidity affects the perceived temperature and comfort levels.
High humidity made the room feel much warmer than it was.

Dew Point

Dew point is crucial for understanding cloud formation and precipitation.
Meteorologists monitor the dew point closely to predict rain accurately.


Humidity varies greatly throughout the day and from day to day.
The humidity levels fluctuated, causing varying comfort levels.

Dew Point

Dew point indicates the amount of moisture in the air.
A high dew point signifies humid and uncomfortable conditions.


Humidity is important for weather forecasting and climate study.
Meteorologists study humidity to understand weather patterns better.

Dew Point

Dew point is a more stable measure of moisture in the air.
Forecasters often prefer the dew point over humidity for its stability.


High humidity levels can lead to precipitation.
The sky darkened as the high humidity culminated in a downpour.

Dew Point

Dew point affects the likelihood of frost, dew, and fog formation.
The likelihood of fog increases when the temperature is near the dew point


Humidity is the concentration of water vapor in the air, expressed as a percentage.
The humidity was 80%, making the day feel extremely hot.

Dew Point

The temperature at which dew begins to form. It varies with the humidity and temperature of the atmosphere.


Dampness, especially of the air.


Relative humidity.


Dampness, especially that of the air.


The amount of water vapour in the air.


Moisture; dampness; a moderate degree of wetness, which is perceptible to the eye or touch; - used especially of the atmosphere, or of anything which has absorbed moisture from the atmosphere, as clothing.


The content of water vapor in the air, expressed as a percent of the maximum amount of water vapor that the air can hold at the given temperature; also called relative humidity. The capacity of the air to hold moisture increases with temperature, so if the temperature changes without changing the absolute content of the atmospheric moisture, the relative humidity will also change.


Wetness in the atmosphere


Can humidity be 100% without reaching the dew point?

No, 100% humidity means the air temperature has reached the dew point.

Is dew point important in weather forecasting?

Yes, it is crucial for predicting cloud formation, precipitation, and understanding humidity levels.

Is dew point a more stable measurement than humidity?

Yes, dew point is a more stable and absolute measure compared to humidity.

Does high dew point mean high humidity?

Not necessarily, but a high dew point often corresponds to high humidity under certain conditions.

Do dew point and humidity measure the same thing?

No, dew point is the temperature at which air is saturated, while humidity is the moisture level in the air as a percentage.

Does high humidity lead to rain?

High humidity can contribute to the formation of clouds and precipitation, but other factors are also involved.

Can dew point and humidity both be used to predict frost?

Yes, both are used in conjunction to predict the likelihood of frost formation.

Can humidity be measured in a closed system?

Yes, humidity can be measured in both open and closed systems.

Does low dew point mean low humidity?

Generally, a low dew point corresponds to low humidity, but other factors like temperature also influence humidity levels.

Does humidity affect human comfort more than dew point?

Yes, humidity directly affects human comfort as it influences how we perceive temperature.

Is dew point temperature always lower than air temperature?

Yes, dew point temperature is always equal to or lower than the air temperature.

Is relative humidity affected by temperature?

Yes, relative humidity is dependent on temperature and changes with it.

Can dew point be negative?

Yes, dew point can be negative when the air is very dry, especially in cold conditions.

Is high humidity unhealthy?

High humidity can be uncomfortable and may contribute to respiratory issues and the growth of mold and mildew.

Does dew point change with altitude?

Yes, dew point generally decreases with an increase in altitude due to lower air pressure and temperature.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons