TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – You can always check in with storm team 10 to get the most up to date temps, but listening to the crickets outside your window could clue you in to the current temp too.
Those chirps do more than provide the soundtrack to any given summer night according to Rose Hulman Biologist Peter Coppinger.
“The biochemical reactions, [including] their metabolism that allows them to chirp, move, live, and breathe increases with temperature,” said Coppinger. “Not only are their metabolic rates getting faster as it gets warmer, but they’re also chirping more because of it.”
Using Dolbear’s Law, formulated by American physicist Amos Dolbear, you can get an approximate temperature from a series of chirps.
“Count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and then add 40,” explained Coppinger. “That’s the approximate temperature in Fahrenheit.”
Just keep in mind that not all crickets chirp at the same rate at the same temperature.
“There might be some wide variation because a lot of the crickets around here are field crickets,” said Coppinger. “The type of cricket that was used to calculate and make that equation was a tree cricket.”
This method might not get you the most accurate air temp, but it might help your family bring out their inner scientist.
“See if your kids can come up with their own equation,” urged Coppinger. “If you have a thermometer, see if they can make their own modification of Dolbear’s Law. ”
Of course, if that gets too stressful, you could always just crack the window and enjoy the sweet music.