Why are Deserts Hot in The Day But Cold at Night?

A bite-size answer to why deserts are hot during the day but cold at night…

A desert is a region which receives an extremely low amount of precipitation (meaning, basically, water falling from the sky). Although it is out of the scope of this particular question and answer, many deserts are formed by what are known as rain shadows: mountains blocking the path of clouds/precipitation to the desert area. This means that deserts are very dry with little moisture in the air (relative humidity).

 

During the day, hour after hour of sunlight hits the desert (with very few clouds to prevent it reaching the ground), heating the air to high temperatures. At night, when the sun has set, the hot ground and air radiates the heat back into space.

 

When there is moisture in the air, it holds the heat (similar to a duvet holding our body heat in at night). But in the desert – because it is very dry – the low humidity means that very little heat is held, unlike say jungles and rainforests where there is lots of water in the air and temperatures vary little between day and night.

 

So we have it. The reason why deserts are hot in the day and cold at night is basically down to low humidity.

 

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47 Responses to “Why are Deserts Hot in The Day But Cold at Night?”
  1. anndavey650 Says...

    On February 13, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I have always wondered that myself. Boil during the day and freeze at night… bizarre.


  2. Suni51 Says...

    On February 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Very true explanation, thanks for the same.


  3. Farzeela Fee Faisal Says...

    On February 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    This really is worth considering fact, thanks for sharing.


  4. cometbballgrrl Says...

    On February 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    good to know!


  5. CA Johnson Says...

    On February 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Very interesting. It never occurred to me why deserts were hot during the day. Thanks for the information.


  6. GameLive Says...

    On February 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    An amazing share, thanks, see you around


  7. lapasan Says...

    On February 13, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I learned a lot about deserts in this article. Thanks for the info.


  8. K Kristie Says...

    On February 13, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    You have just answered one of the questions which puzzled me for so long. Thanks for explaining it well. Excellent share.

    Btw, you can ask for a relocation of this post by clicking Content then click Relocate.


  9. shelpeare Says...

    On February 13, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Good info, Stable!


  10. LCM Linda Says...

    On February 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Interesting topic. Clear explanation. Thanks for sharing.


  11. Eunice Tan Says...

    On February 13, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Very good explanation. Will be asy to be remembered.


  12. john smither Says...

    On February 13, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Interesting article and well explained as to why this occurs.


  13. CHIPMUNK Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 1:24 am

    well informed


  14. Mr Arrogant Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Great article,
    thanks for the share

    happy valentine’s day
    :-)
    best regards,
    Mr Arrogant.


  15. papaleng Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 4:50 am

    that is my question too, and you have clearly answered it. Thanks for the share.


  16. mtrguanlao Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Now I know! Thanks for this!


  17. Kathy Morelli LPC Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 6:55 am

    I love the desert!


  18. Lord Banks Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 6:58 am

    I kind of figured it was because of no moisture but its realy interesting to have it explained properly great article. LB


  19. redmail99 Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 7:55 am

    very interesting…


  20. tonywriter Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 8:36 am

    another good scientific definition found from your article mate :)
    Thanks for sharing!


  21. cyrenjan Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 8:54 am

    great info!


  22. cyrenjan Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 9:01 am

    very informative!


  23. Steve Weitzner Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I always wanted to know this. Thanks for finally giving me the answer, GREAT Post.


  24. Betty Carew Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I really never thought of this but rather just accepted it. thanks so much for your explanation. This is another bit of information to add to my knowledge. great post and very well presented Stable.


  25. Christine Ramsay Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 11:06 am

    That is so well explained. You should have been a teacher.

    Christine


  26. AussieSheila Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Great answer! Especially useful for explaining this to kids


  27. LadyElena Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Its nice to know these thing. You never know when a 7 year old will ask you…


  28. LadyElena Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Its nice to know these things*. You never know when a 7 year old will ask you…


  29. DaYong Says...

    On February 14, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Interesting…is the sand a factor? Maybe the sand releases heat faster than regular dirt?


  30. lonelyplanet Says...

    On February 15, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Very educative stuff.


  31. janesteban Says...

    On February 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Great explanation. Thanks for sharing!


  32. shakugan123 Says...

    On February 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    now we know, thanks.


  33. Freethinking Says...

    On February 16, 2011 at 6:21 am

    Thank you for teaching me something I didn’t know today.


  34. Ima Vee Says...

    On February 16, 2011 at 11:22 am

    wow… this is very interesting… another fascinating fact to bear in mind… :-]


  35. UncleSammy Says...

    On February 17, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Thanks for sharing


  36. ladym33 Says...

    On February 17, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Very interesting information.


  37. FX777222999 Says...

    On February 18, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Nice and excellent share my friend. Thanks


  38. nz2rdfox Says...

    On February 18, 2011 at 3:59 am

    An excellent share as usual…I always learn something from your posts:)

    Thanks a lot my friend


  39. martinrojas Says...

    On February 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    What a great piece of work.


  40. genicuta Says...

    On February 19, 2011 at 11:28 am

    good article,thanks.


  41. lillyrose Says...

    On February 20, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I have said it before and I will say it again! I love these bite size bits of information. We all take things for granted but you explain they so simply.
    My son asked me the other day if the element thing in a hair dryer (the bit that goes red) is what heats up the air that comes out?! I didn’t think it did but you are the expert, so an article on this would be great. Thank you.


  42. pruelpo Says...

    On February 20, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Interesting article. Educative, informative and what else…I love reading the whole piece dude.


  43. Brewed Coffee Says...

    On February 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Good piece of information. Thanks for this :-)


  44. genicuta Says...

    On February 28, 2011 at 5:48 am

    Good article,thanks..


  45. supersajjad Says...

    On March 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    This is actually explained in good detail, well done on the article


  46. ami smart Says...

    On May 17, 2012 at 10:35 am

    great info..this was given to me as a homework..thanks for this…:-)


  47. ashish Says...

    On October 17, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    thanks……..


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