Death Valley sets tentative world record for hottest month (Update)

August 1, 2018 by John Antczak
Death Valley sets tentative world record for hottest month
In this April 11, 2010 file photo, tourists walk along a ridge at Death Valley National Park, Calif. Preliminary data show that Death Valley set the world record for hottest month in July, 2018. National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Lericos says the month's average temperature at Furnace Creek in Death Valley was 108.1 degrees Fahrenheit (42.28 Celsius). That eclipses the previous record, set in Death Valley during July 2017 when the average was 107.4 degrees F (41.89 C). (AP Photo/Brian Melley, File)

The natural furnace of California's Death Valley was on full broil in July, tentatively setting a world record for hottest month ever.

The month's average temperature was 108.1 degrees (42.28 Celsius), said Todd Lericos, a meteorologist in the Las Vegas office of the National Weather Service.

That roasted the previous record, set in Death Valley in July 2017 when the average was 107.4 degrees (41.89 Celsius).

"It eclipsed the record by quite a bit," Lericos said, adding that the data is considered preliminary and needs to be reviewed before it goes into official record books.

The temperatures are measured at Furnace Creek in Death Valley National Park, a vast, austere and rugged landscape in the desert of southeastern California that includes Badwater Basin, which at 282 feet (85.9 meters) below sea level is the lowest point in North America.

The valley got its morbid name from a group of pioneers who got lost there in 1849-1850 and thought it would be the end, according to the National Park Service. Only one died, however, before they found their way out.

Summer heat is so routinely extreme that tourists are warned to drink at least a gallon (4 liters) of water each day, carry additional water in their cars, stay close to their vehicles and watch themselves and others for dizziness, nausea and other symptoms of potentially deadly heat illness.

This warning appears on the National Park Service's Death Valley Twitter page, seen Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. Preliminary data show that Death Valley set the world record for hottest month in July. National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Lericos says the month's average temperature at Furnace Creek in Death Valley was 108.1 degrees Fahrenheit (42.28 Celsius). That eclipses the previous record, set in Death Valley during July 2017 when the average was 107.4 degrees F (41.89 C). (National Park Service via AP)

Visitors are urged to "travel prepared to survive," avoid hiking at low elevations and return to their air-conditioned cars for a cool-down after just 10 to 15 minutes of exposure outdoors.

And amid the heat, thunderstorms bring the threat of flash floods.

The location holds the world record for highest temperature ever recorded—134 degrees (56.67 Celsius)—set on July 10, 1913.

Even with that history, July was exceptional as a weather pattern stoked temperatures.

A very persistent high pressure system set up over the Southwest, restricting the movement of air vertically in the atmosphere and creating a heat wave, Lericos said. "It was fairly intense for this time of year," he said.

Among the extreme conditions were four consecutive days reaching a high of 127 degrees (52.7 Celsius) and overnight lows that remained over the century mark.

Explore further: US Southwest heatwave set to reach world record levels

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guptm
1 / 5 (3) Aug 01, 2018
Please do not publish misleading pictures for public on a public platform like this. Not many will read the caption. Thank you.
Thorium Boy
1 / 5 (3) Aug 02, 2018
Cold kills 500,000 people a year in the world, conservatively estimated. Warm temps don't begin to approach that. No sane person will live in Death Valley.
humy
4.3 / 5 (3) Aug 02, 2018
Please do not publish misleading pictures for public on a public platform like this. Not many will read the caption. Thank you.

Just curious; which part of the picture do you think is misleading and how so?
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (2) Aug 02, 2018
No sane person will live in Death Valley
"POPULATION. Death Valley (zip 92328)'s population is 281 people. Since 2000, it has had a population growth of -53.86%"
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
4 / 5 (4) Aug 02, 2018
Cold kills 500,000 people a year in the world, conservatively estimated. Warm temps don't begin to approach that.


The weather extremes will be driven mostly upwards, but it is a cold calculation to exchange them. (And if so, what about the increased tornadoes et cetera from human driven global warming?)

I cannot find any references for your statistic; you did not give any, so I assume you made it up.

However this article suggest that hypothermia deaths are comparable with a few heat events: https://www.thegu...herwatch . But we are not talking about a few anymore, they will happen every year somewhere on the globe.
PTTG
5 / 5 (1) Aug 02, 2018
@Thorium boy believes that the best solution to traffic accidents is to arbitrarily and capriciously incinerate 10% of cars, regardless of if there are people in them.
guptm
5 / 5 (2) Aug 02, 2018
Thank you Phys.org for changing the picture!

@humy: Picture is no longer there now! It was displaying temperature of 54 degree C.

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