Weather Blog

Why we harp not to leave kids, pets in the car on hot days

Why we harp not to leave kids, pets in the car on hot days

You hear the reminder every heat wave - don't leave your kids or pets in the car, even for a few minutes.

It might seem like "don't run with scissors" but it seems every time the weather gets hot, we hear stories of urgent rescues or tragedies with overheated people and pets.

To help hammer home the point, in late July 2006, the ABC affiliate in Madison Wisconsin (WKOW-TV) paired up with the local office of the National Weather Service to conduct an experiment of just how hot it gets in a closed car on a sunny day.

On this day, it was 93 degrees outside, and they parked a dark blue car with the back to the sun, meaning the front and passenger seats were not in direct sunlight.

At 12:45 p.m. local time, they cooled the car to 83 degrees, then put a thermometer in the car to measure what happens after the engine was turned off.

In the first 10 minutes, the temperature inside reached 120 degrees -- potentially deadly levels for humans and pets. The temperature kept climbing until 3:30 p.m. when it read 134 degrees in the car.

You can see the full experiment at WKOW's Cirrus Weather Blog