Sweating like a pig

I trust I won’t be accused of porkism there. I really don’t know anything about the perspiration of swine. Indeed I am informed pigs sweat very little.

Pigs don’t sweat much, so they wallow in the mud to cool off their bodies. So how did the English language expression “sweating like a pig” develop? It’s actually a reference to pig iron, which is form of iron smelting…

But take my forearm just after breakfast this morning:

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And that could have been any morning in the past week. Mean relative humidity at this time of the year (December through February) is around 70% at 9am here in Wollongong. This morning it was 85-90%

Humans are very sensitive to humidity, as the skin relies on the air to get rid of moisture. The process of sweating is your body’s attempt to keep cool and maintain its current temperature. If the air is at 100-percent relative humidity, sweat will not evaporate into the air. As a result, we feel much hotter than the actual temperature when the relative humidity is high. If the relative humidity is low, we can feel much cooler than the actual temperature because our sweat evaporates easily, cooling ­us off. For example, if the air temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) and the relative humidity is zero percent, the air temperature feels like 69 degrees Fahrenheit (21 C) to our bodies. If the air temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 C) and the relative humidity is 100 percent, we feel like it’s 80 degrees (27 C) out.

People tend to feel most comfortable at a relative humidity of about 45 percent…

I must say I do not thrive in humid heat…

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From my window 9am today.

Update

Mind you, complaining about the humidity does seem rather less to worry about than what has been happening in South Australia and Victoria.

More than 800 firefighters from three states are battling the fire front in the Adelaide Hills this morning with almost 12,000 hectares destroyed.

Authorities are still trying to confirm how many homes have been destroyed as a massive fire burns uncontrolled on all fronts in the Adelaide Hills.

Meanwhile, all fire warnings in Victoria have been downgraded to advice level, as a cold front moves through the state…

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