Death Valley hits 130 degrees; if confirmed, hottest temp on Earth

The official high temperature for Furnace Creek in Death Valley last Sunday was 128 degrees but the temperature display outside of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center read in the low 130s. Visitors to the park formed a crowd in the sweltering heat to take turns being photographed next to the temperature display. Pictured, from left, is the MacDonald family from Indiana. 

Right outside our backdoor, the hottest temperature on Earth was recorded last week in Death Valley which soared to a searing 130 degrees on July 9.

If this measurement is confirmed (see below as to how temperatures must be formally confirmed), the temperature recorded at the Furnace Creek Ranger Station would match the highest known temperature on the planet since at least 1931, park officials said in recent news releases.

Death Valley also hit 130 degrees last August, which at the time preliminarily ranked among the top three highest temperatures ever measured on the planet. That reading is still being reviewed by the World Meteorological Organization, which is the arbiter of international weather records, the park said. 

The 130-degree reading observed July 9 and the same temperature recorded in the same place last August only trail two other high temperatures ever measured on the planet: the high of 134 set in Death Valley on July 10, 1913, and a 131-degree reading from Kebili, Tunisia, set July 7, 1931.

That said, both of these temperatures have been challenged by many meteorologists who question the recording technologies and reporting methods of those dates, according to news reports. 

In other words, the 130-degree readings from Death Valley on Friday and last year, if validated, could be the highest pair of reliably measured temperatures ever observed on Earth.

Either way, Friday’s high broke the daily record for July 9 of 129, also from 1913.

Friday’s 130-degree reading comes after Death Valley hit 126 degrees on July 7 and July 8. 


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