Idaho’s Most Humid Town is Still a Dry Place
I know, you’re shocked, shocked to find out Idaho isn’t very humid. That’s true of most of the mountain west. A website called Matador Network does claim Kamiah is the most humid place in the state, but compared to some other places around the continent, it’s pretty dry. Often what we call humidity is actually a reference to the dew point, the volume of water vapor in the air. Heavy vapor is what gives us what my mom used to call muggy.
I spent seven years living in the Tidewater region and it exemplifies mugginess. One year on Independence Day it was 105 and like a sauna. I remember walking around downtown Washington during the bicentennial. At the time I was 13 and after a few blocks, my shirt was soaked.
I like our dry conditions. It doesn’t require me to peel off my clothes at the end of the day.
A geology professor in college told me the dry climate is owed to the mountains on our western side. The coastal air moves east and as it rises, it drops its moisture on the western slopes, where it’s lush and green. We get that through the heavy and not guaranteed use of irrigation.
Every once in a while our weather surprises me. Last summer I visited Great Basin National Park. I was looking at some signs at a sheltered visitor center. One explained the area received no more than an average of seven inches of rain a year. Wouldn’t you know my luck? It seemed like it all came down the day I was there.