Here in LA, we’re having a rain storm for the first time in a long time. As I’m driving to work, I notice something that I’ve often noticed when its raining outside, namely that my fingers feel dry. When I rub them together, there is a noticeable dryness between them that I don’t notice when it is sunny and normal outside.
If I’m reading, it becomes harder to turn the pages, I have to lick my fingers otherwise they won’t catch the paper. I almost never have to do this when the weather is normal, only when its raining. And its not like I leave my hands outside to get wet and wipe them off constantly, there is a bit of moisture and oil in your hand that you can feel on a normal day that I don’t feel when its raining.
Now that I’m indoors for a while, the feeling has returned mostly to normal, I don’t feel the dryness anymore. But if I go outside for a bit and its still raining, the feeling returns. Why?
Why has no one answered this question?? I’m rather disappointed in the StraightDope community for ignoring this valuable, important question about a strange phenomenon for five years.
My suspicion is it has something to do with humidity – maybe as rain falls, water vapor condenses onto the drops, which actually causes the local air to be less humid than it was before the rain? But that seems strange, as if anything, water would be evaporating from the drops and from the ground after the drops fall. I haven’t looked at a hygrometer lately during a rainstorm, but I would bet it would be pegged close to 100%.
Yet still my hands are dry and scratchy as it rains, unless I stick my hands out the window and get them wet!
My guess is the temperature drops when raining and you do not normally perspire as your body is at normal or less than normal temps. Perspiration contains water and oils. Again my guess at temperate or cool areas you simply have dry skin.