Measurements of brightness temperature from the water vapor band channels of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration polar satellites from 1981 through 1988 are analyzed. Only clear and cloud-cleared measurements from the operational sounding product are used to produce averages for bins of 2.5° latitude by 2.5° longitude and 5 days. The standard deviations of random errors for these bins are estimated. A unique feature of this dataset is its ability to identify the dry regions in the middle and upper troposphere with unprecedented detail. Results agree with the known climatology in the tropics.