Rockford Fourth of July hotter than a firecracker


It works! You can fry an egg on the sidewalk. Photo by CLIFF HILL

Rockford did not escape the successive days of record-breaking heat that engulfed two-thirds of the nation last week. Unless you were beachside, the stifling heat put a damper on out-of-door 4th of July activities especially backyard cookout gatherings.

Air conditioning was certainly the order of the day. Locally, venues such as Rockford’s North Star Cinemas were extremely busy all day long with many people changing their holiday plans as they sought to escape a heat wave flirting with 100 degrees.

Venturing barefoot out on our concrete front porch at 3 p.m. that afternoon, brought us an abrupt and painful explanation of the term “hot foot”. It also brought to mind the old expression, “It’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.”

You guessed it; this was an experiment we always wanted to try. So we got out a small frying pan, sprayed it with a little olive oil, and set it on our concrete porch in full sunlight. Wanting to verify the surface temperature of the concrete, we placed an extremely accurate digital thermometer on the porch’s surface adjacent to the frying pan.

The thermometer quickly rose past the current 98 degree outside air temperature to an astounding 133 degrees on the concrete’s surface! We broke an egg into the pan and, although it wasn’t as fast as stovetop, we were soon rewarded with a perfectly cooked sunnyside up egg.

Being reporters, we wanted to share the results of this “scientific” test with West Michigan so we contacted our newspartner WZZM TV 13 via an email and a picture. Meteorologist Joe Kopecek of WZZM’s “On Target Weather Team” quickly replied, “Thanks for the pic, I’ll work it into the weather segment during the 11:00 p.m. newscast.”

And so he did – did you see it? Proof positive is in the accompanying photo.

By the way, Cliff ate the egg on top of an ice cold 4th of July salad of Farm Market mixed greens.

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