Monday, August 17, 2020

Death Valley reaches 130 degrees, hottest temperature in U.S. in at least 107 years

Death Valley reaches 130 degrees,
hottest temperature in U.S. in at least 107 years


On Sunday, the thermometer at Death Valley's Furnace Creek, located in the deserts of Southern California, soared to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NOAA's Weather Prediction Center. If verified, it would be the hottest temperature recorded in the U.S. since 1913, and perhaps the hottest temperature ever reliably recorded in the world.

The historic reading is just a small part of a massive, intense and long-lasting heat dome smothering the West Coast, that will continue to get worse through Tuesday.

The highest temperature ever recorded on Earth was also observed in Death Valley — 134 degrees Fahrenheit in 1913. However, many experts contend that temperature reading, along with various other temperatures recorded that summer, was likely an observer error. 

A 2016 analysis by Weather Underground historian Christopher Burt revealed that other observations from the region in 1913 simply do not square with the Death Valley reading. 

Because of the unique landscape and meteorology, the daily readings from the various observation sites in that area of the desert Southwest are almost always in lockstep with each other. But during the week the all-time record was set in 1913, while other sites were around 8 degrees above normal, the Death Valley readings were 18 degrees above normal.

In 1931, a record-high temperature for Africa was recorded in Tunisia at 131 degrees. However, according to Burt, this recording, and many others in Africa from the colonial period, has "serious credibility issues."

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