StormTracker Science: Cookies in a Car

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – During heat waves, people can do crazy things. One of those things is bake cookies in a car!

How do you do it?

First, put cookie dough in balls evenly placed onto a baking sheet. Instead of an oven, put the cookies into a hot car.

Due to the direct sunshine and heat of 93 degrees on Saturday, July 4th, the temperature of the dashboard started at just over 120 degrees after just 30 minutes. Within a few hours of direct sunshine and 93-degree heat, the temperature rose to nearly 170 degrees as the car acted as a convection oven distributing heat evenly around the food.

Because the car wasn’t roasting at 350 degrees, it took a little bit of time for the cookies to bake. For the cookies to get firm and crispy, it took over four hours.

Why the experiment?

With rising heat and circulating hot air, temperatures can become unbearable after only a few minutes on a sweltering and sunny day.

On hot days or any day, make sure to check the back seat of a vehicle before exiting to make sure children and pets are not left behind. Exposure to these unbearable temperatures for extended periods of time may lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Animals, in particular, are very susceptible to heat-related illnesses due to their fur.

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