water_vapor_0209.jpgToday marks a week straight of below normal temperatures. While the bitterly cold air has mostly run its course, it doesn't look to us like we'll see warmer than normal weather for at least another week.

You might be wondering why we haven't seen any frost with all this cold weather. Well, you probably aren't wondering that, but Gothamist wanted to talk about humidity and that was our lousy hook. The simple answer is the air's been too dry to produce frost. Although the air temperature has been in the teens and twenties, the dew point temperature, which is a measure of how much moisture is in the air, has been flitting around zero all week. The further apart the air and dew point temperatures are, the drier the air.

The low dew point is also why our skin is so dry and itchy. The air in our pores, and just above our skin, is saturated, with the dew point in the upper-80s. The dew point falls away to zero just a fraction of an inch away, creating a tremendous moisture gradient that pulls water out of our bodies. Moisturizers can slow the rate by which our skin loses moisture and drinking plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffienated fluids will replenish the water we do lose.

We may reach the freezing mark in the next couple of hours. We may even squeak past it tomorrow and Sunday. Monday looks warmer still, but don't get your hopes up for spring just yet. Snow storm next Tuesday? There's a chance. It won't be like the 88 inches Gothamist's father received this week upstate, but there's a slight chance we may actually have some accumulation.

Water vapor satellite image showing a bowl of dry air over New York from the National Weather Service.