26 January 2022

How do you explain this?

It is bone chilling -8F (-22C) right now here in Itasca. But it will slowly warm up as the sun comes up. That part I get. But look what happens after the sun sets. The temperatures keep rising thru the night. Of course, there is no sun around. Lake Michigan water cannot be that warm – after the last few cold days – to explain that.

How do you explain that?

Posted January 26, 2022 by Rajib Roy in category "Puzzles", "Travelogs


  1. By Rajib Roy (Post author) on

    Finally found the likely answer.
    The first thing I noticed is that while it was -8 for us, Chicago city which is about 15 miles east of us and on the lake was -2. Well, that could be because it is a city. People and other things increase the temps in a city.
    But then, Katy who lives way west of us reported that it was -22 for her when she started in the morning. That at least established that the further you were from the lake, the colder you were.
    Then came the big surprise for me. Researched for the water temperature of Lake Michigan. Was surprised to find that there are websites that report out the water temperatures at different locations of the lake. They ranged from +33 to +38. I guess I had forgotten how high the specific heat of water is and therefore how slowly it will go up in temp (and similarly go down slowly).
    With such a large difference in temperature, the good old sea breeze/land breeze we were taught in school would set in. And keep gently raising the temperatures.
    The final proof of this was when I checked the weather in the evening. There was going to be a 9-10mph wind throughout the night!!

    One problem solved! Thank you everybody for helping me think thru this.
    But I am stuck on another problem. Will write about it soon.


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