On a sunny day a few summers ago, our friends at the National Weather Service Forecast Office near Sullivan, Wisconsin performed an unofficial experiment to determine how quickly an automobile would heat up in directly sunlight. This simplified experiment consisted of putting an electronic thermometer inside a closed automobile (dark blue in color with sun to the rear), and another electronic therometer placed outside of the vehicle to measure ambient temperature in the shade. The interior and exterior readings were compared at timed increments.
The interior of the car was cooled to 83 degrees by the vehicle air conditioner, the engine was turned off and the monitoring was started. After only fifteen minutes the automobile interior heated to a deadly 120 degrees. Many unofficial experiments have been conducted that indicate inside temperatures can rise 35 to 45 degrees above outside temperatures!
Here are the results:
Time Interior temperature Outside temperature
CDT degrees F degrees F
1245 pm 83 92
100 pm 120 93
115 pm 123 94
130 pm 125 93
145 pm 127 94
200 pm 129 94
215 pm 130 95
230 pm 131 95
245 pm 132 95
300 pm 133 95
315 pm 134 95
330 pm 134 95
When hot temperatures occur it is important to not leave children or pets in parked vehicles, even for short periods of time, under any circumstances!
Heat kills. In the past dozen years over 450 children have died from heat exhaustion after being left in or gaining access to unattended cars!
The following is a web site that is useful in highlighting the tragic consequences of leaving children unattended in cars during hot spells http://ggweather.com/heat/index.htm
Many thanks to the National Weather Service Forecast Office near Sullivan, Wisconsin for the information regarding the experiment cited above.