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humidity levels

My wife (she is French) and myself wish to retire to France, but because we are sensitive physically to high humidity, where should we settle for low humidity levels? Is the Dordogne a good place?

Posted by
11738 posts

I haven't been to all parts of France during all parts of the year - so I'm reticent to say one place is consistently low in humidity. Provence seems quite arid, compared to Dordogne and Languedoc areas. My guess is that's the lowest humidity area of France but can also be really hot in summer.

I grew up in San Diego and have been searching for a similar (undiscovered) climate for retirement. I've been told the area around Iquique, Chile is a place to look.

I've traveled to much more humid places, Manilla and Pago Pago come to mind.

Posted by
16846 posts

I suspect Brad is right but I don't know for sure, either. The Wikipedia articles for most cities of decent size have large temperature-summary charts. I don't find monthly average high and low temperatures very useful, but total monthly rainfall and number of days with rain are what I use to gauge precipitation. Do those numbers track with humidity? That I just don't know.

Posted by
5728 posts

The Mediterranean climate tends to be less humid in general.

Posted by
349 posts

(This topic feels like it was made expressly for me, a travel aficionado and weather nerd!)

The best site I have found to assess these kinds of things is Weatherspark -- it is not so much a weather forecast site, of which there are countless out there, but a way to capture the average weather in each place throughout the year. Crucially, they go beyond just temperatures and precipitation, but also have things like average cloud cover, wind speed, and for your purposes, humidity.

For the Dordogne, I picked Périgueux and here is the section on average humidity throughout the year, as measured by dew point*. You can see that it's largely comfortable throughout the year, though not always. Compare places like Washington, DC or Bangkok for examples of humid cities, either seasonally or throughout the year.

I really like this site and find it useful for travel, especially because I'm like you and my experience of weather is heavily driven by humidity and temperatures really only tell you so much.

(*For the technically curious/inclined, they use dew point, which is the far better way to capture human comfort as relates to humidity than relative humidity. Human comfort is obviously subjective, but most people will find dew points below 55F/13C to be pleasant and comfortable; dew points between 55F-65F/13C-18C to be getting humid; and dew points higher than 65F/18C to be muggy and uncomfortable. I linked to an explanation of why it's better, but googling about it will lead you to many more.)

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for responding to my question. I find the official weather/climate web-pages for each place devoid of any depth of analysis , so it is very difficult to make a judgement: Brad is right though, when he says that what is comfortable for one person is not for another. interesting about The Mediterranean in being considered low inn humidity: I am in Majorca at the moment and humidity levels are over 80% so we are both full of joint pains and find it difficult to sleep as it is clammy at night. I will look further into Perigeux and Provence. Any further suggestions?

Posted by
16846 posts

I am no weather expert, but Perigueux is a very attractive place. Others towns of some size in that area that I especially enjoyed were Cahors and Figeac. Figeac is a bit hilly, which for me adds interest but might be a negative factor for others.

Andrew's link is going to be very useful to me as I try to put together itineraries for long trips. I'm also a big fan of the actual, historical, day-by-day weather data available at timeanddate.com. I like seeing daily temperature statistics rather than monthly averages. The latter hide the extremes, and it's often the extremes that matter.

Posted by
1164 posts

Yes, dew point is the most important measure. I find relative humidity almost useless in terms of human comfort.

I'd like to see dew point become a regular part of any weather report/forecast. A dew point of anything in the 60s and I don't do much outside at all.