Car thermometers read WAY too hot in the summertime


A lot of us do this on a hot day. We get into the car, turn things on, look at the thermometer and go "OH MY GOSH! It's 105°! Let me take a picture of this!" The only thing is - you're taking a picture of a wrong temperature reading.

Readings like 94°, 91°, 93°, etc are reasonable for a day like today. But we've been getting reports of 104°, 102°, and 99°, which is just not true. In most cases, we tend to get these extreme temperature readings from cars, banks and at-home thermometers.

Let's take a car, for example. Inside your car, there's a thermistor - a fancy word for temperature sensor. The problem with this sensor, however, is that it's getting most of its readings based off of the environment surrounding it. You're getting influence from some degree of engine heat and re-radiated heat from asphalt and concrete. This is the same case with bank thermometer readings. Think about if you were to stand on blacktop. You're going to feel hotter than if you were to stand on grass. That's thanks to the re-radiating heat off of the darker surface.

So, how do we 'fix' this problem? In order to get a correct temperature reading, the National Weather Service goes through very specific regulations. The temperature sensor must be at least five feet off the ground. It must have a level and open clearing, so the air can ventilate. Lastly, it should be at least 100 feet away from a paved or concrete surface, so as to avoid any disruptions from re-radiated heat.

---Meteorologist Chris Michaels---

Facebook: Chris Michaels WCYB

Twitter: @WCYB_Michaels



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