22 Feb 2020

Muggy much? How to beat Auckland's humidity

9:11 pm on 22 February 2020

If you live in Auckland and have been breaking a sweat just to get to the fridge, you're not alone.

Ice cream is a must during the hot weather.

How to keep cool? Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Auckland's subtropical climate is known to produce relentless humidity at this time of the year and it's been particularly felt these past couple of weeks.

Today's long-awaited rain broke Auckland's longest dry spell of 47 days without 1mm of rain.

But the extended forecast for Auckland is for more sunny, dry days with highs of up to 27. The average low over the next six days is around 16 degrees - not really conducive to a good night's sleep.

And the humidity is likely to get as high as 80 percent or more on some days which is tough when people are generally most comfortable when it's around 40 percent.

We asked RNZ staffers how they're coping and what tips they have to share with fellow Aucklanders or anyone around the country who's suffering.

Veronica Schmidt - Executive Editor, Longform Journalism

"I am melting on the commute to and from work, and to and from kids' activities and to and from pretty much everywhere I go.

"I've started putting a bottle of water in the freezer an hour or so before leaving the house and then taking it with me when I head out into the sun.

"It ain't rocket science, I know, but, let me tell you, when you're walking up a hill and sweat is grafting your clothes to your back, a swig of freezer-cold water feels like a revelation."

Tim Watkin - Executive Producer Podcast & Series

"We live in a house where many of the windows have latches that don't allow them to open fully. So we're trapped!

"There's no easy solution - we wear as little as possible, use fine spray bottles and damp facecloths to cool down our kids at bedtime and then have to put up with grumpy kids waking up in the night because they're so hot.

"I'm thinking we need to bite the bullet and buy fans. We also bought our poor over-heated furry dog a cooling mat for him to sleep on."

Rhonwyn Newson - RNZ's digital editor

The mum of two says blackout curtains are a must during the long New Zealand summer days.

"With the sun only setting after 8pm, having blackout curtains is the only way my kids will go to sleep at their normal bedtime."

She advises closing curtains in the afternoon to stop the intense afternoon sun from heating up the room too much before bedtime.

"Light, cotton pyjamas and cotton sheets are also a must."

Megan Whelan - Head of Digital Content

"Embrace the fact that your hair is just going to look bad. There is nothing you can do about it. If they can't handle you at your frizz, they don't deserve you at your smooth curly perfection.

"Also, your makeup is going to slide off your face no matter what setting spray you use. We all look the same, it's OK.

"I realise I am about to re-ignite a social media debate, but top sheets. It's counterintuitive, but I reckon it's cooler sleeping under a sheet than under nothing at all. (Caveat: the sheet has to be natural fibres, I think, for it to really work.)"

How have other Aucklanders been faring?