What is the difference between "liquid water content" and "absolute humidity" in meteorology? Both have units of mass/volume.


1 Answer 1


According to the online chapter Water Vapor (University of British Columbia), the two variables you ask about are defined as:

Absolute humidity

$$\rho_{v}=\frac{m_{water\ vapour}}{volume}$$

Liquid water content

$$\rho_{LWC}=\frac{m_{liquid\ water}}{volume}$$

The main difference is that absolute humidity measures the mass of water vapour and the LWC measures the mass of suspended or falling liquid water content in a unit volume of air. A handy definition linking the two terms is (from the linked document):

LWC is the liquid-water analogy to the absolute humidity for water vapor.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you the answer and the reference - this really cleared it up for me! $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2014 at 7:14
  • $\begingroup$ @boxofchalk1 happy to have helped! I was able to learn something new too. $\endgroup$
    – user889
    Dec 18, 2014 at 7:15

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