Temperature Difference Between Shade and Full Sun
On a sweltering hot day under the Arizona sun, temperatures can rise well into the 100’s, with temperatures of 115 degrees Fahrenheit recorded regularly. If you spend time outside on these hot summer days, you understand how comforting a good shady area can be.
But, have you ever wondered why shade feels so good? Have you considered the scientific differences behind the temperature in the shade and in full sun? We wondered about this, so we did a little digging to get the facts about shade.
Everything You Know About Temperature is a Lie
When you wake up in the morning and check the weather forecast, the temperature for the day reads 100 degrees. You imagine a thermometer out in the hot sun, taking in the sun’s rays and giving a reading. You would think that if the weather report says 100 degrees, then in the shade it might be cooler, perhaps 80-90 degrees, but that would be wrong!
Weather forecasts measure outdoor temperatures in the shade. If the weather report says 100 degrees, that means the temperature is 100 degrees in full shade.
Why Does the Weather Forecast Measure Temperature in The Shade?
In order for a thermometer to accurately measure the temperature of the environment, it needs to be located in the shade so that it is not affected by the solar radiation from sunlight. If a thermometer were in the sun, the solar radiation would heat up the thermometer, and the resulting temperature would measuring the warmed up thermometer, not the environment around the thermometer.
The Temperature in the Shade Isn’t Cooler than The Temperature in the Sunlight
In the shade, you may feel 10-15 degrees cooler, but the temperature is the exact same as the temperature in full sunlight. Shade only feels cooler because you are avoiding solar radiation. When in the shade, your skin is not being “heated” by the sun’s rays, so your skin and your body feel a more comfortable temperature.
The Benefits of a Shaded Patio
Shade has a variety of positive effects, and can make your patio more comfortable and usable, and protect your family and property from the harmful effects of solar radiation. The many benefits of a shaded patio include:
- In the shade, solar radiation is blocked which makes your patio feel cooler.
- In shade, solar radiation is blocked so your skin is better protected against some of the harmful UV rays in sunlight.
- Shade can help protect your eyes from harmful UV rays that can cause vision damage.
- Shade can protect your furniture, painted surfaces, and other belongings from the fading effects of sunlight.
- A shaded patio can be used and enjoyed year round, even in the hot summer months.
- Where there is shade, there is protection from the other elements like wind and rain. Awnings and sun screens can protect from all weather, not just sun!