What weather elements are needed for one to see his breath?

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Dear Tom,
What weather elements are needed for one to see his breath? Recently, the temperature was in the low 40s and it was odd that I could see my breath.
Michael O’Brien, Chicago

Dear Michael,
Seeing your breath depends on the temperature and relative humidity of the air. Exhaled air is nearly saturated with water vapor at about the same temp as your body. Water vapor in your breath condenses into visible droplets when it is allowed to cool to the dew point (the temp at which air becomes saturated with water vapor) of the ambient air. Colder air has less capacity to hold water in vapor form which is why seeing your breath is more common at lower temps. At higher temps the vapor in your breath will usually disperse before it can condense. In your situation, the humidity must have been near 100% and your exhaled air had to cool very little for condensation to begin.

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