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Press Release

June 29, 2017

The Weather Channel Introduces “Scorching Car Scale” Forecast To Prevent Unnecessary Deaths

New car temperature tool aims to raise awareness of the dangers facing children and pets left in hot cars

(ATLANTA – June 29, 2017) -- Today, The Weather Channel introduced a new forecasting tool  - the Scorching Car Scale - that illustrates how temperatures in the interior of a car can drastically increase on hot days after a 10 minute and 30 minute window of time. By putting these dangerously high temperatures on display, The Weather Channel’s Scorching Car Scale hopes to prevent unnecessary deaths of children and pets from being trapped in hot cars, and to raise awareness of just how hot vehicle interiors can get after only a few minutes.  
With hot car deaths spiking every summer in the U.S. -- three over a single weekend in June -- The Weather Channel is including these graphics in their forecast indexes as a helpful reminder to parents with small children and pet owners. Of the average 37 hot car deaths a year, the majority are children three years old or younger. More than 50% of these deaths occur from parents/caregivers simply forgetting their child is in the back seat, or are unaware of just how dangerous leaving a child inside a car can be even at mild temperatures or with the window cracked.

Nora Zimmett, Senior Vice President of Live Programming at The Weather Channel, said, “We have been incredibly frustrated as we continue to watch hot cars deaths happen every year, and we wanted to make a difference. By marrying forecast highs with the data from a 2002 study on the heating inside cars, The Weather Channel can now provide an accurate temperature forecast for the inside of a car left outside for 10 and 30 minutes. We hope this scale will help to provide life-saving information to the public."
Using data from an observational study conducted in California, the Scorching Car Scale determines just how quickly the inside of a car warms at any given temperature. By taking the forecast high for a particular day at a particular location, and marrying it with the data from this study, The Weather Channel can now provide an accurate temperature forecast for the inside of a car left outside for 10 and 30 minute periods.
The Scorching Car Scale will be on display on The Weather Channel every day all summer, starting on AMHQ every morning.
About The Weather Channel
For more than 35 years, The Weather Channel has been the leader in severe weather coverage, providing the most comprehensive analysis of any media outlet and serving as the nation’s only 24-hour source of national storm coverage. For seven years in a row, Harris Poll has ranked The Weather Channel as the “TV News Brand of the Year.” With trusted meteorologists who analyze, forecast and report the weather - its expertise is unrivaled.  Engaging with fans and delivering content to feed their fascination with all things weather is paramount to the network’s mission.  With the recently launched community platform, weloveweather.tv, the network created a 2-way dialogue with fans, establishing an ongoing relationship with those that have a passion for weather. For more information visit weathergroup.com.