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Summer sizzle: How the color of your clothing can beat the heat

In sweltering summer temperatures, a seemingly simple choice – the color of your clothing – could be the key to braving the heat with comfort. A News Channel 3 experiment shows on just how much of a difference the color of our clothes can make when the mercury soars.

With temperatures soaring and the sun blazing, our team set out to test the age-old advice that white clothing is better than dark in extreme heat. Armed with a heat gun and two t-shirts—one black and the other white—the experiment aimed to determine just how much the color of clothing can influence our comfort levels.

The test took place under the unforgiving midday sun, with the thermometer hitting a scorching 115 degrees. Even the park's resident birds sought refuge in the shade. The experiment wasn't without its challenges; even our journalist's phone was feeling the heat, shutting down as it reached a boiling point.

While waiting for the experiment's results, one brave parkgoer caught our attention. Laura Laffranchini, who has lived in the area for more than four decades, explained her preference for lighter, sun-protective clothing. "When you're in the sun, you feel that heat, you'll actually feel the heat inside the material," she said. "When you're actually exposed to the sun, wearing a darker color, it's a big difference."

After 30 minutes under the sun's relentless gaze, the results were in. The white shirt, despite baking under the sun for half an hour, registered at about 114 degrees – almost the same as the air temperature. On the other hand, the black t-shirt reached a staggering 140 degrees, a full 25 degrees hotter than its lighter counterpart.

The experiment shows that a simple choice—opting for lighter-colored clothing—can make a measurable difference in staying cooler during extreme heat. So, the next time you're preparing for a scorcher, remember that your outfit choice might just be your best defense against the sweltering temperatures.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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