Background: The effects of temperature and humidity on the epidemic growth of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)remains unclear.
Methods: Daily scatter plots between the epidemic growth rate (GR) and average temperature (AT) or average relative humidity (ARH) were presented with curve fitting through the “loess” method. The heterogeneity across days and provinces were calculated to assess the necessity of using a longitudinal model. Fixed effect models with polynomial terms were developed to quantify the relationship between variations in the GR and AT or ARH.
Results: An increased AT dramatically reduced the GR when the AT was lower than −5°C, the GR was moderately reduced when the AT ranged from −5°C to 15°C, and the GR increased when the AT exceeded 15°C. An increasedARH increased theGR when the ARH was lower than 72% and reduced theGR when the ARH exceeded 72%.
Conclusions: High temperatures and low humidity may reduce the GR of the COVID-19 epidemic. The temperature and humidity curves were not linearly associated with the COVID-19 GR.