DEATH VALLEY, Ca. – While we were unseasonably cool this past weekend, Death Valley kept up its reputation for the blistering heat. This blistering heat, however, may very well have turned historic.
An unofficial temperature reading at the Valley’s Furnace Creek came in at 130° shortly before 4 p.m. local time Sunday. That would tie the highest temperature recorded on Earth since July of 1913.
WMO will verify the temperature of 130°F (54.4C) reported at Death Valley, California, on Sunday. This would be the hottest global temperature officially recorded since 1931. pic.twitter.com/AOaWHKWVKJ— World Meteorological Organization (@WMO) August 17, 2020
According to the National Weather Service in Las Vegas, a formal review is underway to verify this temperature reading. The Weather Prediction Center tweeted that the Valley’s temperatures reached higher than 130° two other times in July of 2013 too.
Per the climate data in xmACIS2, this is the first time since 1913 that Death Valley has reached 130F. In July 2013, it last reached 129F. If valid, it would be the hottest August temperature at the site by 3F. @NWSVegas pic.twitter.com/gZNBW4NXI4— NWS WPC (@NWSWPC) August 16, 2020
In a previous article of ours, we explained why Death Valley is often one of the hottest places in the country. “Summer temperatures in Death Valley often hit 120° or higher, according to the National Park Service. The valley (nearly 300 feet below sea level) is often dry, as it’s on the leeward side of mountain ranges. The clear, dry air, along with little vegetation, allow the desert to heat efficiently. Once the heat radiates off any other surfaces, it then becomes trapped.”
The heat is expected to continue out west this weekend, as a strong dome of high pressure sits over the southwest corner of the U.S.