What Is With This Heat?!?! We Asked an Expert

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Posted: Aug 4, 2022

Home » What Is With This Heat?!?! We Asked an Expert

The central part of the United States is burning! It seems that every day the temperature goes over 100° Fahrenheit. On July 21st, the temperature in our headquarters in Fort Worth reached 107°! Yet, for some reason, at that same hour of the day, it was 70° in Mexico City and 65° degrees in Quito, Ecuador – which is only 15 miles from the equator! We decided to reach out to an expert— Senior Meteorologist Jack Boston of KAKE (the ABC Affiliate) in Wichita, KS, where they were also experiencing record high temperatures. Here’s what he had to say:

“The reason both locations, Mexico City, Mexico and Quito, Ecuador have much lower temperatures that Fort Worth, Texas is really very simple! It is due to the differences in elevation. The temperature 99 percent of the time is warmest at the surface at any given location. In general, the lapse rate is 9.8 degrees Celsius per 1000-meter increase in elevation (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit per 1000 feet). This is the rate the temperature decreases as you move upwards from the surface.

 The elevation of Fort Worth, Texas is 653 feet above sea level which Mexico City’s elevation is 7,249 feet above Sea Level, 6,596 feet higher which would make it 35.1 degrees Fahrenheit cooler given the lapse rate. Quito, Ecuador’s elevation is 9,350 feet, 8,697 feet higher, which would make it 47 degrees cooler, all other factors excluded, but I think you can see that these are pretty close to the differences you described.”

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