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How hot is it? Your thermometer is probably wrong. Here's why

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After our episode on the Arizona heatwave, one listener wondered why this year's heat was such a big deal. Hasn't it been this hot before? Her thermometer says so.

The problem is, most home thermometers are not very accurate. Official temperature readings are made by carefully calibrated and properly placed weather stations. It's a big undertaking that's more complicated and time consuming than you'd think!

Dr. Kevin Kloesel, Director of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, joined the podcast this week to talk about what it takes to maintain Oklahoma's network of weather stations, the best way to get accurate weather measurements, and why you shouldn't trust that temperature reading in your car.

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About the Across the Sky podcast

The weekly weather podcast is hosted on a rotation by the Lee Weather team:

Matt Holiner of Lee Enterprises' Midwest group in Chicago, Kirsten Lang of the Tulsa World in Oklahoma, Joe Martucci of the Press of Atlantic City, N.J., and Sean Sublette of the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia.

Episode transcript

Note: The following transcript was created by Adobe Premiere and may contain misspellings and other inaccuracies as it was generated automatically:

Welcome back to this week's recording of the Across the Sky podcast, which is put on by Lee Enterprises and the Lee Weather team. Lee Enterprises is a national publication company with over 70 publications nationwide. And our weather team of meteorologist covers it from coast to coast. Each day on the team we have myself Kirsten Lang in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Matt Holiner in the Midwest, Joe Martucci in Atlantic City, and Sean Sublette in Richmond, Virginia.

Welcome back, guys. Hope everyone has had a wonderful week. You know, this is our first podcast where we're actually going to dive into a question or a comment in this case from a listener. And I want to note that this was made after we talked about the Arizona heat and how hot it had been for days on end.

Deirdre wrote in and she had more of a comment kind of question about this, and she said, hello, I'm a bit confused about the hype about the heat. This summer we visited Arizona in July of 2005, and every day was between 115 and 120 degrees. We were traveling in an RV that had no AC in the cab, so I'm well aware of how hot that is.

But locals told us that this is what summer is like in the Arizona desert. And it wasn't just the spike. The high heat continued for well over a month. So why is this year suddenly different? Yeah, so I thought that was a really interesting point. So I wanted to go back and look at the data from July of 2005 and when I did, I saw that her information wasn't very accurate.

I mean, it's always hot in July and Phoenix, I mean that that's what Arizona is known for and especially that time of year. But I went back and looked at the high temperatures. They were generally between 105 and 110. Again, not cool by any stretch, but the hottest temperature all of that month was 116 and it only happened once.

So I think I think the big deal for for this past July was that every single day was above normal for Phoenix. I mean, every day, no break at all. There were several days when it was, quote unquote, only 101, 100 to 103 in Phoenix, which is a couple of degrees below normal. I think that's that's the key here, is that every single day was hotter than normal and above 110, which is without precedent in Phoenix.

I think that really is is what got everybody's attention. And, you know, I to that point, Matt, I know you and I were talking about this also when she says 115 to 120, you know, where she taking that know she said in the cab. I mean and if that's the case, that's another whole thing, right? Yeah. So that's what got us thinking like, well, why did she think it was between 115 and 120 every day?

Where does she gain that data from? And so our best guess, we don't know this for sure, is that she was probably looking at even in 2005, a lot of vehicles have thermometers or the RV's have the monitors in the car and they give you a temperature reading the outside temperature reading. People look at that all the time.

I get pictures all the time from back home. People saying, look how cold it is or look how hot it is. It a picture of the thermometer on their on their dashboard or on their rearview mirror looking at that temperature. But the problem is, though, though, it's a very easy way to see what the temperature is outside. Those thermometers on cars are not very accurate and has a lot to do with the location where they're place.

And you'll also notice how quickly the temperature will change on those thermometers versus being parked versus moving. So they're not a very good representation of what actually was occurring in the real temperatures. And so that's why we got the perfect guy to come on and talk about how to take accurate temperature readings. What's the best way to get accurate data, What is used to feed our computer models that are making these forecasts and how there's so many issues when it comes to accurate temperature readings?

And so why not bring on the guy in charge of the Oklahoma maisonette and we get into the details of why it's such a great network and how we can expand it to more locations in the country. So this is a great episode. Yeah. You know, shout out to Deirdre because without her we wouldn't be doing this episode.

So yeah, Deirdre, if you're listening, thanks her. Thanks for listening and thanks for, you know, having such an interest in the weather here. You know, we appreciate you giving us the opportunity to talk more about temperature readings and what is accurate, what is in, and how we can go forward with somebody who knows a lot about temperature readings.

Because in the weather world, the Oklahoma Basin, that is a very, very big deal. So thanks again to your for the question comment. All right. So on the other side of that break, we are going to have Dr. Kloesel. They'll he'll be on here to talk with us more about this topic. Well, welcome, Dr. Kevin Kloesel. He is the director of the Oklahoma Kind of Survey, which operates the Oklahoma medicine that Weather Observation Network.

And he's also the university meteorologist for the Oklahoma University Department of Campus Safety and is responsible for providing weather forecasts and safety information to the campus of O.U. Which is right up the street from me here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. So welcome, Dr. Kloesel. How are you doing today? Doing well. It's good to see everybody. Well, we are excited to have you on.

And, you know, we wanted to talk with you about a couple of things. We're actually going to start with a topic that they came across to us from a listener about temperature readings. And what we wanted to do was that, you know, a lot of people may not realize that there's really a strict protocol for measurement on temperature.

And we wanted to see if you could chat with us a little bit about that and kind of tell us what that protocol might be. The temperature thing is really, really a struggle, right? Because so many people are exposed to temperature in different ways, right. When they see it on TV as a broadcaster, that temperature is likely the official temperature at a recording site with calibrated instrumentation and it may be, you know, 99, but at your place you have a thermometer in the backyard and it was 105 today.

Right? Me And I'm I was way hotter than than that or you drove to the grocery store and the bank is saying 112 or like just yesterday I walk out onto an artificial turf football field at Norman High School here in central Oklahoma, and it is 177 on the turf. Right. So how can it be 177 112 105 99 all literally in the same place.

And it just comes down to instrumentation, right? And and exposure. And it's very important to know that all of those temperatures are valid. Right? Because if we're dealing with heat injuries and possibly heat illness with a football team, that 177 is real. Right? That is a real temperature in sunshine on a football field where they're about to play.

But the 99, which was the official observation, is the only way to really say, okay, what are we doing with the air that is going by without really regard to all of these different surfaces that are underneath it? So you do it in a sheltered environment. You do it in an environment where the word the breeze is going through, that instrument is calibrated, and then you hope to have a whole lot of those around so that you can actually see what the ambient temperature patterns look like because that information is vitally important to prediction.

So we putting that into our weather forecast models to kind of understand if we started putting all of these 170 sevens in one twelves and all of those indoor weather models, they've never be able to handle that, we wouldn't be able to resolve the big picture of what weather is doing. And so those those are like the maisonette.

For example, you've already mentioned that ability to calibrate and make sure that the temperature in the panhandle can be compared to the temperature in southeast Oklahoma. That's incredibly important to doing research both in the climate realm and in the weather forecasting realm. And Kevin, it's Joe. So you said calibration earlier, right? A properly calibrated thermometer. Could you explain what that is and what the protocols are for that?

Oh, my gosh, Yes. And it's elaborate, right? Every one of our sensors in the measurement has a life history, a life story associated with it. Literally, it's biography. And so at the National Weather Center on the O.U. Campus in Norman, we have a laboratory with what are called calibration chambers. And these are two national standards. So when you have a national standard device that is reading 70, then you want to make sure that every instrument you put in is also reading 70 before you put it out in the field.

If anybody's ever gone to Wal-Mart or a box store and looked at the temperatures in the garden center, right, the thermometers, you get your pick right. You can lay out all the thermometers in the garden center and one's reading 84, one's reading 82, one's reading 81, one's reading. You know, they're all different. And it's like, okay, do I want the hot one?

Do I want the cold one? Which one do I want? Right? But there's no guarantee that any of them are correct. So what we do is we go through an elaborate it's a set of standards and those set of standards are applied to each instrument and just dirty little secret here, we love our instrument providers, but we don't believe anything anybody tells us, right?

They can tell us that it's calibrated to a certain this. We don't believe it, right? The measurement is we do it ourselves, we do our calibrations ourselves. And that way we know that if we have an entire state full of 72 degree readings, there is 72 at every one of those sites, not 71, not 69, whatever it is.

And that elaborate going through that testing and then what you do, you take it way up and you take it way down. And does that thermometer still perform Right? Does it perform all the way up to 115 and 120? And does it meet the standard there? Does it all the way to zero and minus five and minus ten?

And does it meet the standard there? So it's not just a single temperature calibration, right? It is against an entire scale of readings within that standard chamber that then becomes the basis for us to be able to say, you know what, if the temperature changed in the average for a half a degree over 30 years, that you can take to the bank?

Right. Because we know that each of those instruments are calibrated not like the one I have in my backyard. Right. Which is reading 107 right now. Right. You know, and it's like, okay, it's probably 107 where the thermometer is. But did that drift? I never calibrated that thermometer. And that's the big issue with bank thermometers. And, you know, you don't know how they've been calibrated or if it's against a standard or whether somebody chose the second one from the right at the Wal-Mart instead of the fourth one from the right, even though they were different when you bought them.

So those are the things that we have to eliminate because it's about trust. All right. You guys know this man. We get clobbered. If you utter the word climate, you get clobbered. And it's it's very real. And if we are going to say this is what the data show, we better be able to back it up. Because if somebody can say, oh, well, well, you changed the location, right?

You changed the location of your sensor, and if we did, then we've ruined the data for that location. So it's a little bit like real estate, right? Location, location, location, and then making sure that all of your instruments are calibrated back in covered, right? Oh, my gosh. Those little hand-held things that you go across your head with those.

Oh, we had so much fun with those. Are that them, isn't it? Because I could figure out that I was running a fever and not a fever simultaneously, depending upon which one I picked up. And you can't go on that, right? It's why you see the, you know, those blood pressure machines in the hospital. They better be calibrated.

You know, you can't have drift because you've got a physician making a life and death decision based upon that information. And we do. And take the same care with the instrumentation we have at the measurement. And Kevin, I think it's a little bit of discouraging for people who are listening to this. It's like, gosh, I thought I could trust my backyard thermometer.

So for people, you know, and some people may not care about, you know, how close exactly, but I know some people do, they would like really want an accurate thermometer. They want the closest thing to an accurate temperature as possible. So do you have any recommendations for when people are go shopping for a thermometer? Is there anything that people can look for to be like, oh, I can trust this thermometer a little bit more when they're standing there at Home Depot trying to decide on a thermometer.

Do you have any recommendations? Yeah, As far as buying a home thermometer, absolutely. What are your standing in the Home Depot looking at those thermometers, Download the medicine it out. And then if you got them, isn't it out? Now you've got statewide calibrated thermometers in every county and you can look at that map and take that to the bank.

You know, that's a little self-serving, but there are some really good devices that are out there and you can kind of read the reviews. And there I mean, every year there's new toys, right, for the particularly for the meteorology hobbyist community. But again, hobbyist community, if you're interested in a temperature in your backyard, then, you know, buy what you think is the right thing for you, Right?

I mean, that's that's I don't know that I have any better advice than that. There are some really expensive solutions and there are really inexpensive solutions, but it's going to be all about where you put it, where you site it. Is it in the shade? Is it in the sun, Is it on your roof? Is it on your shed?

Is it and all of those are going to make a difference. And I've got like 15 of these in my backyard and they're never reading the same thing. Well, let's go back to that, to deciding that because that matters so much in my yard, I have a little tempest and we have a very well shaded canopy. And I cannot count on this at all for wind.

But because of that, it does okay, because it's shaded with regard to temperature. But but talk about some of the siting challenges, whether it's maisonette, whether it's the FAA staff, whether it's the agencies, the the older generation in terms of trying to get the most accurate air temperature possible. How should you position in terms of distance off the ground, open space?

Can you can you speak to those points a little bit? Right. And some of that is application based, right? So we have a number of agricultural providers where they're interested in the temperature near the ground or even in the ground. Right. So we take just as many soil temperature readings as we do air temperature readings for growers, producers, ranchers, you know, those kinds of things.

And so siting sometimes is based upon the application. If you are looking at air temperature, usually that's human head height or something and pretty close to six feet, we have instruments that are higher up. We have that for different applications in the state of Oklahoma. And so the siting is going to depend on on what you're going to need it for.

And what we do with our measurement sites is we make sure that each and every one of them are sited with the exact same standards and the same guidelines. So same underlying ground conditions, same distance away from trees or, you know, blocking buildings or whatever the case may. We've had to remove sites because there have been in Oklahoma, we've got this industry that's really coming up quick that likes to put out big, huge tents and grow nice green plants in them.

And those have been a struggle for us because when you put those big green tents and those are the big white tents with the green plants in them, and you get them really close to maisonette sites, it changes the dew point, it changes the temperature, It essentially ruins the climate record and we have to decommission that site. And so we've had that issue in some places.

All right. Well, Dr. Fazio, we're going to come back with you after the break here. And welcome back to the Across the Sky podcast. I'm Christine Lang alongside Matt Hollander. Joe Martucci and John Sublette. And we have Dr. Kevin Kloesel along with us today. And, you know, we were just talking a little bit about temperature readings, but I wanted to get into something that we were talking about or that you were discussing a lot throughout your answers.

Is the Oklahoma Maisonette telling us a little bit about that program and kind of the back story on it? 30 years ago, there were scientists at Oklahoma State University that were working on agriculture that's there. They're calling card it at OSU and needing additional weather information to do a better job for farmers, ranchers, producers, growers, you name it, while at the same time we were having issues like the Tulsa flood and the Tulsa flood led the National Weather Service.

And at the time Ken Crawford, who was at the Weather Service, to think that you know, if we had just more rainfall observations, we might have been able to forecast and reduce the loss of life in the Tulsa flood. And so there were two groups of people both talking about a weather network. And what was amazing is that through just almost good luck, right, as many do.

Ron Elliott at Oklahoma State University and Ken Crawford at the Weather Service, who had recently moved to the University of Oklahoma to be the director of the climate survey at the time, started talking and said, you know what, All these other states, they have a forestry network, they have a transportation network, they have all these different disparate networks to do different things.

What if we in Oklahoma used one network to meet the needs of all of these stakeholders? So they brought in agriculture and forestry and emergency management and the Weather Service and university researchers and people working on climate and weather and said, What would we like to have? And we put all of that in one network. So there is at least one in every county.

We have 120 of those across the state. We have a calibration lab at Norman at the National Weather Center, where we do all the technical work. We have a research team, we have an outreach team. We provide the data to teachers, we provide the data to emergency managers, to the forestry, to ag, to fire to all of those various stakeholders.

And it has been we are so lucky over three decades to have the support from every governor along the way, from Henry Belman on to Kevin Stitt, who just signed our legislation into law. Again, we have to go defend what we do and up like all the other agencies do. But we've been at this for 30 years. It is the preeminent the American Association for the Advancement of Science called it the gold standard.

And now we've got copycats, right? We've got other state networks throughout the country that are all working towards what we hope to be someday, a national measurement so that we can do a much better job predicting weather and doing the monitoring right across all types of hazards. Yeah, I was going to ask in terms of building and business, right?

I mean, you talk about funding. It is it is something that does require financial commitment. What do you guys do in terms of public outreach to let people know that, hey, you know, we're in Oklahoma, You know, we have a maisonette here. You know, I'm in New Jersey. We have amazing that that's really good. Not as good as you guys, but really good.

So what do you do in terms of just letting people know, you know, throughout the state that, hey, this is what we're going on and this is the value provide you? So we have a very robust Web presence which provides data every 5 minutes across the board. And so the public loves it. We do it for irrigation planning, for landscape companies for how long concrete needs to cure for our construction company, for emergency managers, for EMS, for law enforcement, and the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation, for forensic investigations after the fact.

I mean, every imaginable place we can find a place to put our weather information, we are usually at their front door and weather. And so we do we go out. I mean, it is a door to door grassroots campaign going to agencies, going and training them how to use it. Right. That's equally important. You don't just throw data in somebody's hand and let them use it.

That would be like Brant Venables throwing a football out on the field and say, Hey, go to it, right? And then you expect to have success. It doesn't work that way. So there is an extensive training program that goes on. We've covered forced us into developing online training modules and that's actually really helped us out because it's allowed us to reach places that maybe we didn't think we could reach before.

So between the gold standard of how we do our calibration and how we maintain the efficiency as well as our 99.999 ability to bring weather data into the hands of people that need it. We also spend a significant amount of time in local jurisdictions or in county courthouses, in vo techs, in schools, in, you know, EOC, you name it, across the board to train people how to use it as well.

We're thrilled that we're turning 30 in 2024 and we will definitely celebrate that. And Kevin, I wanted to follow up with the national measurement because that sounds real exciting. If we can spread this way in Oklahoma across the country, that would be awesome. And I know we're making progress with that. So what's the current status of it and when do you think we'll be achieving that goal of having a true national measurement?

So great question. In the national measurement is getting as much funding as we've ever gotten, which is a testament to the value that there is because the National Weather Service and the federal government, it's almost unanimously supported in U.S. House and Senate that is very difficult to achieve by the way, at this point in time is some sort of unanimous consensus on some sort of bill.

That just doesn't happen. But my goodness gracious, I cannot thank Congressman Lucas enough here in Oklahoma because he sees the value nationally. Yes, he's in Oklahoma. Yes, he's a rancher. He sees the value of the measurement, but he wants everybody to have one, too. So there's now funding pouring in to over two dozen states to help them along with things like calibration and siting and instruments and and that kind of stuff.

And I would hope that by the next, oh, ten years or so that we've got all 50 states with it with a measurement. That would be lovely. I hear Maryland is next. Yes. Here on our side of the Potomac. I'm not sure what the status is. I think we have a long way to go to start securing funding for doing that kind of work here in Virginia.

But, you know, we've got a we've got a big bay, we've got a lot of mountains, we've got a lot of valleys, we've got coastal plains. We got all that stuff. But I would love Amazon out in Virginia. But now back to Caleb, Maryland, to calibrate guns right now. So I know they are back to calibration real quick.

Recently, you know, we were under the big heat dome, of course, across the middle part of the country. A lot of the corn is in bloom. In the corn Belt. We've seen some exceedingly high heat, but also very high humidity. And there's been a little buzz on like how why is it so humid? You know, the part of that is what we call corn sweat, which I'd like you to explain when you can.

But is there any other kind of calibration issue that that we're concerned about generally with instrumentation when we're trying to figure out humidity? Right. And man, humidity is so hard. Temperature is easy in comparison. It really is. And the reason why moisture measurements are so hard is because moisture measurements in many instances are so dominated sometimes by what's coming up out of the ground.

So moisture at low levels, yes, you can have, you know, humid air moving in from somewhere else off of the bay, off of a lake, off of the stream, whatever it is. But at the same time, if you had rain in the past week and you know how summertime rain is, right, it rains across the street, but not at your house.

Well, that means that that green lawn across the street is going to transpire. Moisture into the atmosphere locally there that you're not going to have in your yard because you didn't get rain. So it's still brown. And so if I put a dew point sensor or relative humidity sensor in that yard versus my yard, I'm going to get two dramatically different readings.

So siding is also a huge issue as it pertains to moisture because moisture variability in soil is so high. If it's a clay soil, you get different moisture profile than a sandy soil. And in Oklahoma, we've got some sensors that are, you know, far apart and we get dramatically different because, well, it's a little sandy over here and it's a little more clay here.

But just above that, that means that the dew point will actually be different. So wherever your moisture sensor happens to be, that's what it's going to register. So in many instances, sometimes with our dew point and relative humidity sensors, we do get a lot of local variation involved in that reading, much like we talked about earlier with the bank temperature and the field temperature and you know, those things Now you mentioned calibration, huge.

Do you calibrate your moisture sense there's a temperature and you can calibrate them in a chamber and change the relative humidity and that's one thing. But are you also calibrating the moisture sensors and do they perform the same way when it's 110 as they do when it's 30? And so, again, going to great lengths to calibrate across the multitudes of parameters that you would see.

And does your sensor work in all of those situations. And I know with like many of our backyard things, man, the humidity sensor goes off the rails when it gets really, really hot. And that has nothing to do with the moisture sensor, but the moisture sensor is getting really hot. And when it gets really hot, it doesn't measure the same way anymore.

So you have to be careful again. And moisture, like I said, it is so difficult because of the variability, because of rainfall variability. And heck, once it rains, well, where does all the water go? The water flows downhill or soaks in or depending upon the soil, creates a puddle in your yard? Well, depending upon where I put that moisture sensor, I'm going to see those differences on a local scale.

And, you know, like we saw with the heat index in Lawrence, Kansas, just the other other day, which was actually a kind of a national sensor there, but it's on a gravel parking lot. Okay. That's almost no different than me going out to the football field with 177. Right. If you don't play football on a gravel parking lot, you are going to get really high temperature values, therefore really high heat index values.

We struggle with irrigation. You mentioned corn sweat, right? If we have in fact, we just flagged a bunch of data because we noticed in our our pictures and we take pictures every time we go to a site that we had corn encroaching on our site a little bit closer than it had in the past. So we actually flagged that data because we know it's corn doing the same thing we do when we get hot.

We perspire. Corn does the same thing and does it a lot and become, you know, you get Iowa and Illinois with those massively high dew points because of the corn fields as well as downstream. Right. So of wind blows that air downstream, then you see that there as well. So it's you know, we have an irrigation problem now.

I mean, if somebody is watering next door and it blows into your yard, well, your moisture sensor is going to see that. So I remember back in the day, right. I always grew up I grew up in Austin, Texas. And so the National Weather Service was sitting at the end of the runway at the old airport in Austin.

Well, that's where the sensor was. Every time a plane took off, you could see it because it was in the jet wash. Every time they watered the grass, the golf course across the street, and we had southerly winds. You saw it because now Austin has this massive heat index because of jet wash and golf course irrigation. Right. And those are combining literally over the sensor.

So, again, you have to be cognizant about your location. Again, that's you know, we try to control that in the measurement by where we put things. So I have I have two more questions for you. One of them you just mentioned, you're from Austin. I noticed you graduated from from U.T.. Does did everyone know you give you a little a little slack for that?

Not a little. A lot. That is that is the understatement of the year. Yes. In fact, I don't mean to interrupt, but this is the story about my becoming director of the climate survey. I had been working at O.U. For a pretty good period of time. My email address, Longhorn at O.U. Dot edu and of course, everybody was giving me grief and a lot of grief.

And so when I went through the interview process, they said, Well, Kevin, climate, climate, that's a that's a you don't use that word in Oklahoma, right? You know, those are those are you're too nice. How are you going to be able to take all the heat, all the criticism? And in my interview, I simply said, I have I'm a Longhorn grad in Norman.

Right. They can't keep on any more abuse than I have already taken. They all start laughing and they're like, okay, your job, you know, you have the job. It's so yeah, it's it's been a funny thing around here, but it's it's, it's hilarious sometimes. Oh, I bet. I bet the other thing I was going to ask you, too, as you mentioned earlier about the hasn't it turning 30 next year, can you just briefly explain why that is such a big deal for us here in the weather world?

So in the weather world, 30 years has significance. We have kind of looked at 30 years as a generation. And back in the agricultural days when climate was was really something that was important to agricultural growers and things like that. There was a sort of a group of people got together and said, you know what, 30 years is going to be our benchmark for how we determine climatology.

So our averages are all 30 year averages, whether that's rainfall, whether that's temperature, whatever the case may be. So against the background of people using 30 years as their standard for climatology, we become the first Oklahoma becomes the first regional state wide network with 30 years of data. And so therefore, we will have the most detailed look at a climatology in Oklahoma than anywhere else in the world.

And that will give researchers the opportunity to do things for decades with the data that we provide. And Kevin, I like your Longhorn pride because I went to you as well. Glad that you're here. You're sticking it out in Norman. I man, that is got to be tough. I cannot imagine the great insecurity, especially around oh, you weekend.

And before we wrap up, the last thing I want to get your opinion on and kind of inform people about, because one of the things I see the most common when people are talking about how hot is like when friends now that I'm in Chicago are telling me the temperatures back in Texas, the most common thing I see is people taking pictures of the thermometer in their car and showing that reading.

And it's usually a very ridiculously high reading, but there's a pretty big floor with those temperature readings in cars. Correct. And what is that flaw and what should people be watching out for and kind of take with a grain of salt when it comes to those car thermometers? I'm not advocating distracted driving, first of all. So you shouldn't be paying attention to that thermometer anyway.

Hopefully those pictures were all taken at a red light or stop sign. But at the same time, if you've ever driven around, you know that when you start driving, that temperature value goes down and when you stop, the temperature value goes back up again. And so where that thermometer is mounted on your vehicle, when you have ventilation, right, when you have air going by, you're getting more of a feel for what the air temperature is outside, but you're still exposed to the pavement temperature, the engine temperature and all of those kinds of things.

When you stop, that's when that temperature skyrockets because of where it's mounted on the vehicle. You are now contributing from the engine, from the hot pavement. In fact, if you want to try this at home, go drives blacktop versus sort of a gravel road versus sort of a, you know, a parking lot that's white or a lighter color and you'll see dramatic differences, even in the same town on your vehicle's thermometer.

Again, based upon location, location, location and where you put that thermometer. So, yeah, those are totally unrealistic, although it's real from a standpoint of what that portion of the car is feeling. Right. I mean, that is the temperature at that spot. So if you put a thermometer on your dashboard and of course, the other popular thing is to put cookies up there as well.

Right. And bake their cookies in the dash, you can actually get partially baked cookies from a car because it does get hot enough to do that. So, you know, if you want to make good use of that, that's that's another good thing to do. It just don't do it while you're driving. All right, Dr. Faisal, thank you so much for joining us.

We really enjoyed having you on this week. Absolutely. My pleasure. It was great to be here. Great to see all of you. All right. Great interview with Dr. Faisal. You know, he really knows his stuff. And I love how he explained things to you. You can definitely tell he's a professor because he really kind of gets into it in a way that you can understand, I'd say.

But, you know, it's neat to hear all the stuff that he's working on. He's a very busy man from, you know, working with you to the medicine. Ed, He was talking about working with Drum Corps engineers earlier. We were talking with him off off of the camera. But, you know, it's good just to get kind of the background on all of this because I think a lot of people just don't understand how much goes into it from the calibration and everything just to the environment being right for it, for a temperature to take readings.

Yeah, it's very tricky. It's a little more complex than than we might like. You can get a, you know, a general idea with with not without very high end calibration, but you know, when we start doing long term studies, we're trying to get high precision information, calibration, location, all those stuff. So important. Yeah. I just like how, you know, debunk to the car thermometers because people love those car thermometers, but those high temperature readings, I mean that just coming off the pavement.

But he talked about, you know, it's kind of alarming that you got that 170 degree temperature of a football field. I mean, the surface that you you measure temperature over matters so much. And so that's why you have to keep that in mind. He talked about location, location, location, when it comes to taking these temperature readings. And that's very mature, even though but the alarming thing is like those can actually be again, there's some debate about how calibrated the thermometers are, but it is true.

But it is going to be hotter overpayment that comes back to the whole urban heat island effect. That's why cities are hotter than areas in the country. If you have a lot of pavement and blacktop, it is going to be hotter. But for accurate temperature reasons, it should be over a natural ground service, a grass surface. Otherwise the temperatures are going to be hotter.

So take that a grain of salt. You see these really high temperature readings in your car and it doesn't match what the meteorologist on TV or on your favorite weather app is saying. That's why because it's a time to write off of the pavement and so that temperature is likely going to be hotter than the real official temperature of it's going to be recorded in the city that day.

Yeah, it was funny how he was talking about what was in Austin with the golf course, water watering the lawn. If there was a South when you could see the dew point go up in the air, there's you know, there's a lot of variables into what goes into a temperature reading, but the calibration is key. Like he and also do I mean you don't shout out to them for keeping this going for 30 years because, you know, it does take a lot of commitment to showing value to stakeholders.

Of course, you know, people in the political world who are, you know, providing funding for this. So to get this in Oklahoma for a number of states is is incredible. And I think, you know, just be as a consumer of weather, you know, you want to know what's happening. Oh, what's happening in my house. Right. That's always the thing.

Right. So the message on that is is a step closer to telling you, oh, this is exactly what's happening at my house. So if you think about it that way, it's definitely something that's beneficial for every state that has it across the country. And maybe the national one comes to. Yeah, now they're looking forward to that day. I know.

Let's, let's hope that, you know, a couple of things before we wrap up here. I Joe said it earlier than earlier, but we want to say thank you to Deidre for writing in and and you know, sparking this this topic. Joe, if people want to get in touch with us, tell us a couple of ways they can do that.

So you can email podcasts at Lee dot net if you want to check out or send us an email about what's going on, that's great too. We also have a voicemail line that we would love to hear you from Amstell for the next 5 seconds while I pull up that phone number because I forgot it off the top of my head.

But if you do want to give a call and try to figure out what's going on or ask this question, whether it's, you know, about climate or weather or yeah, something about us and what we're doing in the weather world. You can give us a call at 609-272-7099; 609-272-7099. It's very close to my work line number, so if you dial digital you may get me directly.

But but there you go. You can give us an email. She has the phone call as well. Whatever works. Awesome. And you know what? Next week kind of put ahead to what you can expect for next week's release. We sat down and we spoke with Sally Warner from Brandeis University, and Noel Gutierrez was way from the from UC San Diego.

And the two of them have some really interesting information on the warming that's going on in the deeper ocean currents. And it's all happening from hurricanes. I mean, it's something that's naturally occurring from hurricanes, but it's really quite fascinating. It was a great interview. So catch that. That'll be released then on September 4th. Labor Day On Labor Day.

Absolutely. So, yeah, Labor Day weekend, however everyone enjoys it. All right. Thanks again for joining us this week from Across the Sky podcast. Kirsten Lang in Tulsa with Matt Holiner and Joe Martucci. Have a wonderful week and stay safe.

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Across the Sky

The Lee Weather Team hosts a fast-paced weekly podcast that tackles hot topics (and cold!) plus what 
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