Well, they don’t just call it Death Valley for nothing. Visitors to the area might want to pack some sunblock and a cooling towel. Because the national park just set a record for its highest recorded 24-hour temperature. And it’s a doozy for sure.
Officials in the area recorded a blistering 107.7 degrees for the low in the area. According to the Washington Post, that’s the highest temperature recorded in North America for a low. Later in the day, the temperature reached 128.6 degrees as a high. The resulting combination created the highest daily temperature anywhere in the history of the planet.
That temp was 118.1 degrees. And it occurred amid a grueling heatwave striking across the mid-West and West. Several states are already wishing for winter as temperatures soar and wildfires ravage the areas. California, Oregon, and Nevada have particularly felt the heat.
So what part of Death Valley recorded the temperature? That would be Stovepipe Wells, located on the northern side. The weather station frequently monitors the temperatures in the park. Meanwhile, a separate location in Death Valley, Furnace Creek recorded the highest maximum temperature ever in 1913. That was 134 degrees.
Death Valley Heat Records
Death Valley officials recorded the temperature on Sunday. It also became the second-highest low temp in the world. In 2018, Quriyat, Oman recorded a higher low temperature of 108.7 degrees for instance. Scientist Thierry Goose recorded the temperature, monitoring Death Valley’s weather data remotely from Canada. Afterward, several other experts confirmed the readings as genuine.
Currently, the World Meteorological Organization will have to weigh in and confirm the readings to make the recordings official. But U.S. Climate Reference Network recorded Death Valley’s temperatures and many consider the organization to be a leader in climate. For one, the organization uses the best equipment and also makes numerous recordings in locations throughout the country.
To make an even more extreme observation, Death Valley posted higher temperatures elsewhere in the park. For instance, Furnance Creek had blistering temps on both Friday and Saturday. The park reached up to 130 and 129.4 degrees on those days. But overall, the minimum temperatures were lower than at Stovepipe Wells, making for a lower average temperature.
If confirmed, Death Valley would have posted the highest temperature since 1931. Kebili, Tunisia reportedly set a temperature of 131-degrees back then. Weather expert Christopher Burt questions the validity of both the 1913 recording and the 1931 recording. According to Burt, he doesn’t believe that either temperature has enough credibility to be taken officially.
If those two temperatures were thrown out, Death Valley’s recent high would be the highest measured temperature in the world. Even if it doesn’t hold that distinction, it still set a historic record for daily average as a result. Things are heating up.