Relative humidity is the ratio of moisture in the air at a given temperature to the amount of moisture the air could hold. A key term here is "relative". Humidity is relative to the temperature. Warmer air can hold more moisture.
The winter season can have a profound effect on relative humidity. The cold air outside can hold very little moisture. When the cold air seeps inside and is heated without any humidification, the relative humidity can be reduced significantly. Most instruments are made in an environment with relative humidity between 40% and 50%. Under normal winter conditions, the relative humidity in most homes will hover around 30%. When things get particularly cold, 20% would not be unusual. As an instrument is exposed to low winter humidity, the wood shrinks. This shrinkage can cause a variety of problems, from low action to warps and cracks. It's important to note that damage caused from improper humidification is not covered by most warranties.