ROANOKE, Va. – This early April cold snap may come as a shock to the system...in more ways than one. Cold, dry, Canadian air is common in the winter, but at this point in the year — it isn’t.
In addition to chapped lips and cracked skin, we may be shocking each other a little more too.
Let’s explain why.
Static electricity refers to the buildup of an electrical charge. A lot of us remember protons, neutrons and electrons; each carries a different charge in an atom.
Your body becomes positively charged whenever you rub up on different materials.
So whenever you go to touch something else, like a doorknob especially, you feel a shock. That shock is your body discharging, going from positively to neutrally charged.
What makes Friday and Saturday so special, though?
Colder air holds less moisture. Moisture buildup on any kind of service prevents electrical charges from building up. That lack of moisture means that your body can carry a higher charge and, in turn, create a stronger shock whenever you touch something.
This is compounded by the fact that we spend a lot of time outside. Modern-day heating and cooling systems pull the dry air from outside inside.
So for instance, the temperature outside may be 48° with a dew point of 8°, which translates to a relative humidity of 19%. If your thermostat is set to 70° and the dew point is still 8°, the relative humidity inside is down to about 9%!
In order to combat this, you might want to consider turning on a humidifier.
Humidity will gradually climb to more comfortable levels later in the holiday weekend and into next week.