Vacation Destinations: Weather and Asthma
I'm unsure what the deal is, but when my parents start talking about "taking a trip" they really mean "going to Orlando, Florida." I am not exactly sure where I got my own travel bug from, but I'm pretty sure it was not either of my parents who seem perfectly content to just go to Orlando on repeat! (Although, that is totally fine.)
The second-last time I went to Orlando with my parents, in high school, they were saying "This will probably be the last time we do a family trip since you'll be in university."
Then, in university, one time I was able to go with them, and one time I wasn't. That first time it was all "Oh, this will probably be the last time we do a family trip since it will depend on your class schedule/you'll be working."
Except, no such luck for them because of my freelancer life.
I've now found myself pseudo travel-agent-ing and trying to figure out how my lungs will deal with Florida.
Asthma + Florida = ?
The last time I was in Florida was 2010. I was 2 years into the asthma thing, uncontrolled, and… things went fine. Like I am now, I was thinking back wondering about the humidity (and, at present, worried about the humidity and my lungies), It turns out, as I later recounted on my old blog, it was 10*C-15*C most of the time we were there. And not humid.
Which is great, but may not be the normal average type of weather.
Cool-but-not-cold and not-too-humid is the ideal weather for my lungs.
Which is not exactly the type of destination weather most travelers want. Unless, of course, they are me who dives into a deep fact-check on Orlando weather despite not even having confirmed travel dates.
Looking at weather trends
When you have asthma, and write about asthma, you sometimes will have a nice in-depth Google on random subjects, such as:
This research leads to the following facts:
- The average humidity in Orlando depends on who you ask. Per VisitOrlando.com, average humidity is February is 52%, and 50% in March1. Per Current Results Weather and Science Facts, the February/March average is 70.5%.2, 3
That's a liiiiittle bit of a difference, I'm just sayin'.
- The average temperature (which is really what needs to be combined with the humidity to determine the humidity's true miserableness, in my opinion) is an average of 23-27*C 2, 3
- The "perceived humidity" (based on WeatherSpark.com's use of the Dew Point to determine perceived vs. actual humidity) is highest in the last week of April through mid-November historically. 4. Which doesn't mean that it's not humid other times, it's just less likely to have brutally high perceived humidity.
- Note: they rank this perceived humidity as "muggy, oppressive, or miserable", which seems… accurate.4 February and March have the lowest amount of time categorized this way on their graph.
- So, while Orlando's weather is still described as "humid subtropical"5, it appears to let up a bit in Winter.
For me, this means that if I'm going to take my goofy lungs to Orlando, February-then March-are the best times of the year to do it.
Humidity and time of day
Interestingly, I found that the peak humidity actually occurs earlier in the morning (which surprised me) and tapers off by about 10 AM. It creeps up again in the late evening, on average hitting 77% at 10 pm, 86% by 4 am and 87% by 7 am2… all times I will be in the nice air-conditioned hotel room less affected by humidity.
Traveling with asthma: All in the planning
These are the absolutely ridiculous things you may find yourself researching in depth when traveling with asthma. The reality is, though, everything is just averaged. This is why I always say to over-plan, and over prepare, but just hope for the best. Because, especially when it comes to weather, you just never know what will happen!
After all, I could end up with a string of abnormally humid days when I touch down in February or March… or, like 2010, have 80% of my trip be chilly-for-Orlando with lower humidity-which would suit me just fine!
What are some weird in-depth research topics you cover when preparing to travel?
Do you get muscle cramps caused by your asthma medicine?