Death Valley in California records highest temperature in at least 90 years
- Death Valley, California, rose to a scorching 130 degrees
- If verified, it would equal the planet's highest recorded temperature since at least 1931
- Last August also, Death Valley reached 130 degrees in August
Death Valley, California, rose to a scorching 130 degrees as the West Coast's third major heat wave in three weeks began on Friday. If verified, it would equal the planet's highest recorded temperature since at least 1931, which happened less than a year ago.
Last August, Death Valley reached 130 degrees, which was among the top three hottest temperatures ever recorded on the planet at the time. The World Meteorological Organization, the adjudicator of worldwide weather records, is still reviewing it.
Only two other high temperatures ever recorded on the planet trail the 130-degree readings recorded on Friday and last August: 1) A 134-degree temperature recorded in Death Valley on July 10, 1913, and 2) a 131-degree temperature recorded at Kebili, Tunisia on July 7, 1931.
However, Christopher Burt, a world-renowned specialist in extreme weather, challenges the validity of both of those observations. He noted that the 1913 Death Valley reading is "essentially not possible from a meteorological perspective," and that the 1931 Tunisia reading had "serious credibility issues."
In other words, if confirmed, the 130-degree temperatures recorded in Death Valley on Friday and last year might be the highest set of accurately measured temperatures ever recorded on Earth.
As of now, Friday's high has surpassed the day temperature record of 129 set on July 9, 1913.
Death Valley is the United States' lowest, driest, and hottest region. The temperature is measured at Furnace Creek, which is 190 feet below sea level in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California. It is well-known for its scorching temperatures.
The temperature reached 130 degrees on Friday, following reaching 126 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday. Temperatures are expected to hit 132 degrees on Saturday and 130 degrees on Sunday. It's possible that nighttime lows will remain over 100 degrees until the middle of next week.
On Saturday, the infamous 134 degrees reading from 1913 will be commemorated. This weekend, temperatures that high are improbable.
Death Valley is experiencing record-breaking temperatures after having the hottest June on record. And, for the second year in succession, it had the hottest July ever recorded on the planet just three summers ago. On 21 days throughout the month, the temperature reached at least 120 degrees.
This summer's heat on the West Coast is connected to historically severe drought as well as human-caused climate change. According to a panel of experts, the unprecedented heat wave that hit the Pacific Northwest at the end of June was made at least 150 times more likely by human impact.