How hot can it get in a vehicle in the sun here in Grand Forks, BC?
In the early part of August 2005 we watched a news item from Toronto about a toddler left in a minivan on a very hot day. As part of the piece the news crew put a thermometer in a van and monitored it over the next half hour. The thermometer they used was identical to one we own and as I watched I wondered what it would read in our car in our driveway. So I did my own experiment.
Note that it only goes up to 50 degrees Celsius, so values above that are best-guesstimates. (but they’re not that far off 🙂
This is a graph of my results. Temperature is in degrees Celsius.
(at this time it was moved to the head rest)
(at this time the windows were opened 2cm)
(at this time the windows were opened fully)
The experiment took place during the noon hour of Tuesday August 9, 2005.
Initially I set the thermometer down in the shade on the floor of the back seat. The windows were closed. Every 5 minutes I came out to read the temperature.
I found that the temperature on the floor stabilized at around 38ºC (100.4 ºF) so after a while I moved it up to the headrest – about the height of the driver’s neck … where I found that the temperature rapidly climbed off the scale – meaning way past 50ºC (122ºF) !!
As far as I can tell it was over 60ºC which means more than 140ºF … and it didn’t drop much after I opened all the windows about two fingers worth (nearly an inch). It only dropped after I’d opened all the windows all the way down. And at that it was still 5ºC hotter than the floor.