Wed. Oct 4th, 2023
    The Science Behind Static Electricity in the Fall and Winter Months

    Static electricity is a common occurrence during the fall and winter months as the temperatures drop and the air becomes drier. As the average high decreases, so do the dew points, leading to a decrease in moisture content in the environment.

    During the spring and summer months, the increase in dew points results in a more saturated environment. This higher moisture content allows for charges surrounding our bodies to be conducted and dispersed away more easily. However, in the fall and winter, with the decrease in moisture, these charges are not conducted away as effectively.

    When there is a lack of moisture in the air, people may experience an uneven positive charge when there is friction, such as rubbing socks on carpet. This charge imbalance can result in a sudden jolt or shock when touching objects that hold a negative charge, such as a metal phone. This occurs as protons are transferred in order to create equilibrium between the positively and negatively charged objects.

    Another example of static electricity occurs when clothes rub against each other in a dryer. The warm air in the dryer, coupled with the low moisture content in the fall and winter months, creates a greater charge difference between the clothes. This is why clothes without a dryer sheet often seem more charged during this time of year.

    So, why does static electricity seem more prevalent during the fall and winter? It’s because the decrease in moisture creates an environment where charges are not easily conducted away, leading to an accumulation of charges on our bodies and objects. Understanding the science behind static electricity can help us navigate and mitigate these shocks in our daily lives.

    – ABC 17 News