My kids were watching a tv show the other day where the characters were trapped in a small unairconditioned room. Living in Phoenix, AZ my daughter was relating to the feelings of extreme heat these characters were experiencing...until they said it was 103 degrees. My daughter looked at the screen and said outloud, "103? What a bunch of babies!"
She was immediately pulled out of the story and no longer felt the sympathy for the characters that was needed to carry the storyline. So the question is to quantitate or not to quantitate.
Quantitative - of or pertaining to the describing or measuring of quantity.
We have to beware of the fact that when we give a quantitative amount we are telling not showing. The problem with that comes when we associate the measure with an opinion. Like the show that said extreme heat was 103 degrees. The problem comes when others don't share the same opinion. The show could have kept showing the heat and everyone would be able to relate to it, but as soon as they slapped a number on it, they lost part of their audience. Now sometimes you may feel this is a suitable risk to get across your point, but do think about what readers you may be losing when you use a quantitative instead of keeping the amount vague.