Is it a myth that people can fry an egg on the street in scorching weather? Apparently not. Scientists say a surface needs to be 145 degrees Fahrenheit to fry an egg. It is 117 degrees in Phoenix. But that is the air temperature. On asphalt surfaces, the temperature is as high as 150 degrees. (These American cities have the hottest summers.)
According to Grainger College of Engineering, Mechanical Science & Engineering department scientists, “On concrete, like black pavements, for example, or if you have a car sitting in a parking lot with no shade and it was painted a dark color, you could reach temperatures approaching 150 Fahrenheit.” It is another sign of how dangerously hot some American cities are today.
The heat affects more than eggs. The temperature in Phoenix hit a record for July 15 at 118 degrees. The Guardian described it as “hell on earth.” It is likely dozens of people will die in the metro area with a population of about 5 million. Many of these people are homeless.
A heat level of 118 degrees is labeled as dangerous. Extremely dangerous heat levels start at 125 degrees, which is rarely found anywhere in the world. At temperatures above 100 degrees, it becomes more likely people suffer heat stroke, particularly if they are outside for any period. The body cannot cool itself. Among the symptoms are “abnormal pulse rate, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion, fainting, loss of consciousness or death,” according to the Washington Post.
Frying an egg on the street would initially appear to be a joke. In reality, it signals how precarious the weather in Phoenix is and likely will continue to be.
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