SPOKANE, Wash. — The heat wave gripping the Pacific Northwest will push temperatures into the triple digits and even 110s at times next week. But this is just "air temperature." Roads, surfaces, and objects in the direct sunlight are much, much hotter than just what the air is.
Meteorologist Thomas Patrick ran a couple of experiments using an infrared thermometer to check the temperature of various surfaces during the afternoon. Even with air temperatures still in the low-90s, a playground in north Spokane had temperature readings above 150 degrees!
The black rubber matting of the playground absorbs so much direct sunlight that the temperature just climbs and climbs through the day. The black asphalt in the parking lot wasn't even as hot, just 140 degrees.
But while kids are probably wearing shoes, protecting them from the heat of the ground, the playground and jungle gym were incredibly hot to the touch. The blue painted slide was 135 degrees in the direct sunlight.
This is obviously too hot for anyone's skin to handle and can result in burns. Parents should supervise children if they are going to be at a playground like this. And if it's too hot to touch, it's too hot for kids to play on.
Another point of emphasis is how hot the temperature inside cars can get. On Saturday, a thermometer left inside Thomas' parked car rose from 80 degrees (with the A/C on) to over 140 degrees after one hour on a 98 degree day in Spokane. Another reminder that kids and pets should never be left inside a parked car for any length of time, even just 5 minutes.