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Death Valley records highest temperature since 1913

August 17, 2020

Furnace Creek, one of the hottest places on Earth, got even hotter. The US National Weather Service and the World Meteorological Organization are now verifying whether temperature readings are to be believed.

Extreme Heat warning sign in Death Valley, USA
Image: picture-alliance/Global Warming Images

Temperature readings in Furnace Creek, California — part of the Death Valley National Park — on Monday reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 degrees Celsius), according to the United States National Weather Service (NWS).

The NWS said it recorded the temperature at 3:41 p.m. local time (22:41 UTC) on Sunday. The serviced emphasized that the reading was preliminary.

"If verified, this will be the hottest temperature officially verified since July of 1913, also at Death Valley," the NWS office in Las Vegas, Nevada said in a statement.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a United Nations agency that presides over global policy on weather, climate and water, also said it would verify the temperature readings, which would be the hottest recorded temperature in the world since 1931.

In order for the temperature to be officially recorded, the NWS must test the equipment that measured it before a Climate Extreme Committee is convened to validate the initial reading, an NWS spokesman told DW.

"If validated, the temperature becomes an observation of record," the spokesman said.

The highest ever recorded temperature in Death Valley is 134 degrees Fahrenheit, which is still the hottest ever reading taken on the planet, according to the WMO. It was recorded at Greenland Ranch on July 10, 1913.

Russian Arctic heat record

dv/dj (AFP, Reuters)