Finding out how hot it can get inside a parked car

No matter how many warnings are issued every year, a few babies and many more dogs die from the heat, locked inside parked cars. Just how hot can it get inside your parked car?

Back in 2007, I did a mountains-to-ocean tour of Los Angeles with two weather experts, Bill Patzert of JPL and Steve LaDochy of Cal State L.A. At USC, we did the parked car test.

"Temperature has jumped from 84 degrees to 93 degrees," Patzert said after doing an ambient reading next to the car.

After opening the car door, LaDochy did a surface reading with a small infrared device, and it was 147 degrees.

In other words, it was bearable outside – at 93 degrees. But inside the parked car, it was 54 degrees hotter after just a few minutes. Feel free to lock yourself in that car, but leave the dog at home.

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