death valley
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
August 18, 2020 ·  2 min read

Death Valley hits 130 degrees, its hottest day in 107 years

It’s called Death Valley for a reason: Over the weekend, the area recorded its highest temperature in over a century, topping off at 130 degrees Fahrenheit. (1)

Death Valley Records Highest Temperature in Over 100 Years

On Sunday, August 16th, 2020, Death Valley reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The last time the area recorded a temperature that high was in July of 1913. The temperature was recorded at the Furnace Creek Visitors’ Center in the national park. (1)

It was recorded at 3:41 p.m. using a National Weather Service-owned automated observation system. The agency called it an “extreme temperature event” and was waiting on verification to make it official. (1)

“The recorded temperature will need to undergo a formal review. A Climate Extremes Committee will be formed to verify the validity of the 130°F reading.” they stated. (1)

Almost a World Record

This is pretty close to the highest temperature ever recorded in the world, which was 134 degrees Fahrenheit at Death Valley’s Greenland Ranch on July 10, 1913. (2) The record, however, was claimed to be “bogus” and “human error” back in 2016 by climatologist William Reid. (2)

After doing plenty of research, including the temperatures recorded that same day within a fifty-mile radius, he says that the high temperature was impossible and that the original observer, ranch caretaker Oscar Denton, was just in it for the bragging rights. Removing the record, however, wasn’t much of a priority for most and so far it doesn’t seem to have done anywhere. (2)

The Hot Temperatures Continued

The next day the Death Valley certainly didn’t cool off. A temperature of 117 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded at 10 am, which was already six degrees warmer than the same time the day before. The progress didn’t quite continue as it looked, and the day capped off at a high of 127. (1)

The Bottom Line

Verified or not, it was and continues to be hot in the Death Valley this week. Like living in an oven, going outside is next to impossible. Hopefully, for the sake of the people who live in the area, the temperatures will start to ease up.