Dewpoint

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dewpoint

(Or dewpoint temperature.) The temperature to which a given air parcel must be cooled at constant pressure and constant water vapor content in order for saturation to occur.

When this temperature is below 0°C, it is sometimes called the frost point. The dewpoint may alternatively be defined as the temperature at which the saturation vapor pressure of the parcel is equal to the actual vapor pressure of the contained water vapor. Isobaric heating or cooling of an air parcel does not alter the value of that parcel's dewpoint, as long as no vapor is added or removed. Therefore, the dewpoint is a conservative property of air with respect to such processes. However, the dewpoint is nonconservative with respect to vertical adiabatic motions of air in the atmosphere. The dewpoint of ascending moist air decreases at a rate only about one-fifth as great as the dry-adiabatic lapse rate. The dewpoint can be measured directly by several kinds of dewpoint hygrometers or it can be deduced indirectly from psychrometers or devices that measure the water vapor density or mixing ratio.
See dewpoint formula.

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