Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Photograph ©2009 by Brian Cohen.

Which Cities in the World Experience the Most Humidity?

No sweat?

You have probably heard about people who visit desert regions of the world and say how the temperature was 110 degrees Fahrenheit or 44 degrees Celsius — but it was a “dry heat” and therefore it was not so uncomfortable. That is debatable because dry heat can be like being in or near a hot oven, which is not all that comfortable either…

Which Cities in the World Experience the Most Humidity?

Hilton La Romana
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…but the one meteorological factor which can worsen the feel of heat is that pesky moisture in the air known as humidity, which is defined as a quantity of moisture that represents the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere or in a gaseous state. Fog is typically when the air is comprised of 100 percent humidity; but no air — not even in the desert — ever has zero percent humidity, as that would be quite uncomfortable at the opposite end of the spectrum. The air in arid desert regions can contain as little as 25 percent humidity — and that would be considered dry even for the desert. Instead of sweating, one can experience dry skin and a dry throat — and even cough — as a result of the lack of moisture in the air. This is one reason why some people choose to have humidifiers in their homes during the winter or when they are not feeling well, as the moisture tends to soothe maladies which are exacerbated by dry conditions.

When pertaining to travel, people attempt to bring the most appropriate clothing to countries and regions so that they can feel as comfortable as possible — but hopefully, without overpacking — and even though the season is currently winter in the northern hemisphere, many places around the world are still experiencing humidity. Tropical regions are usually the first to come to mind with regard to high levels of humidity…

…but which cities around the world experience the most humidity?

To find out the answer to that question, WeatherSpark was used to gather the humidity level for every city in the world and in the United States on their muggiest days. The colored charts show the proportional breakdown of humidity level — such as miserable, oppressive, muggy, humid, comfortable, dry — across a duration of 24 hours. The map colors reflect the level of humidity that is most dominant on the most humid day — for example, orange and 40 percent means that the humidity is oppressive for 40 percent of the muggiest day.

A list of popular destinations was compiled 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.

I have been given express written permission to use the maps and the verbatim text from this article written by Jonny Addy for HouseFresh, which highlights what are purported to be the cities and towns around the world which experience the most humidity. While HouseFresh has endeavored to ensure the information provided is accurate and current, it cannot guarantee it. Neither HouseFresh nor The Gate accept liability for the information which is presented in this article.

The Most Humid Cities in the World

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.

Click on the map for an enlarged view. Source: HouseFresh.

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 maps 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.

Key Findings

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.

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).

Click on the map for an enlarged view. Source: HouseFresh.

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.

Click on the map for an enlarged view. Source: HouseFresh.

“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.

Click on the map for an enlarged view. Source: HouseFresh.

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.

Click on the map for an enlarged view. Source: HouseFresh.

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.

Click on the map for an enlarged view. Source: HouseFresh.

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).

Click on the map for an enlarged view. Source: HouseFresh.

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.

Click on the map for an enlarged view. Source: HouseFresh.

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.

Click on the map for an enlarged view. Source: HouseFresh.

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.

Click on the chart for an enlarged view. Source: HouseFresh.

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.

Click on the chart for an enlarged view. Source: HouseFresh.

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.

Use the tabs on the table below to discover the most humid cities in the world and how they compare to where you live.

Bonus: The Most Humid Holiday Destinations in the World

Although the following chart was not included in the original article, here is a list of the most humid holiday destinations in the world if you are thinking about traveling to them — and Maldives is considered to be the most humid holiday destination in the world.

Click on the chart for an enlarged view. Source: HouseFresh.

Final Boarding Call

Kuala Lumpur is the first city which comes to my mind when thinking about the most humidity I have ever experienced, as I was sweating just standing still — the sweat would even pour into my eyes and “burn” them at times — and I was not at a beach; so I was fully clothed…

…but plenty of places around the world evoke humidity to me based on my experiences: Phuket, Miami, Singapore, Panama, Cairns, and Cancùn and are only a few of many examples for me — and New York and Atlanta in the summer can certainly hold their own with regard to humidity.

I have been to Höfn in Iceland; but I do not remember noticing the humidity.

When you think of cities around the world which experience the most humidity, what immediately comes to your mind?

All photographs ©2009 and ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

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