Does the humidity level in air affect the passage of microwaves? I've heard people say water is radio opaque, so could a high humidity level lead to faster signal degradation?

As an example, would mobile phone signals be affected. I ask because several times we have noticed weird inconsistencies in mobile phone reception. One clear day we will have excellent signal in our office, and on another clear day we'll have next to none. This is the same for not just my mobile provider, but two others.

Thanks in advance.


Humidity does affect microwave propagation, but it is difficult to give a short review - microwave attenuation by water vapor depends not only on humidity, but also on the frequency - for example, water vapor has a resonance line in the microwave band - see some details in http://cdn.intechweb.org/pdfs/14248.pdf .

  • $\begingroup$ Hi. Thank you for your answer. I'll give that a read later. As an example, would high humidity affect affect the passage of mobile phone signals? The reason I ask is because in our office (where I work) we could have two clear days, and one day struggle to get any signal at all, and the next we have good signal. I've noticed it a lot. All of us have the same trouble. This is with three different mobile phone providers. $\endgroup$ – thephpdev Mar 6 '15 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ @thephpdev Yes, humidity affects mobile signal. I know this because we have marginal reception and it clearly is weather-dependent in complicated ways. $\endgroup$ – tfb Apr 30 '16 at 22:24

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