There is no denying that it's been hot this entire week. Thursday will turn out to be the hottest day of the week, if not the year. The last time we saw temperatures reach 100° was over 10 years ago.

While Iowa deals with the heat dome impacting the Midwest and southern U.S., there is one pro tip that could help you stay cooler. Yes, the lighter the clothes you wear can keep you cool but the dark the shirt you have on could get you really hot according to experts.

Dark Shirts Make The Iowa Heat Dome Even Hotter

Before you leave because you think "Duh, of course, dark shirts get hotter than light shirts," I don't think you know exactly how hot they can get. Yes, dark-colored shirts attract sunlight more than light-colored shirts but black isn't the hottest color.

attachment-Iowa Dark Shirts Hot

The National Weather Service of Des Moines shared a post from their colleagues out of Kansas City earlier this week showing just how hot your shirt can get depending on the color.

Kansas City is also dealing with this heat dome similar to those in Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois.

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As kids go back to school, this science experiment that the NWS of Kansas City conducted shows how important it is to dress your kids. While things may feel cooler in the morning, temperatures rise later in the day and can make for a miserable walk home for kids who do that.

Black Shirts Are The Worst In The Sun, Right? Wrong.

A black shirt is a terrible thing to wear in the sun and hot weather. Similar to drinking hot milk on a hot day.


The National Weather Service of Kansas City took 7 different colored shirts, put them in the sun, and used a temperature gun to measure how hot each shirt got. The colors and materials it appears they used were:

  • White cotton
  • Maroon cotton
  • Gray cotton
  • Yellow cotton
  • White mesh
  • Blue dri-fit
  • Black cotton

What they found was the darker the shirt, the hotter the shirt got but black wasn't the hottest.

As you can see, the maroon shirt reached 156° and the black shirt reached 155°. Officials of the NWS of Kansas City clearly show that the lighter the color and material the cooler the shirt.

The Kansas City Chiefs jersey was the coolest at 111°.

As this heat dome leaves and the heat wave comes to an end, just remember when it gets hot outside, wear light, loose fitting clothes.

You're welcome. -Science


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