The extreme summer heat alert is currently in place on Death Valley National Park as heat meters hit 137 degrees. It is arguably to be the hottest temperature on Earth, surpassing ever that recorded may have been reached on Sunday, Aug. 16.
A Death Valley park ranger Caroline Rohe posted on Instagram a photo of the stratospheric reading showing 137 ͦF on the thermometer at the visitor center. "Could be a world record temperature!" Rohe wrote, adding that the visitor center thermometer runs about three to four degrees warmer. "We hit 130 degrees today at Death Valley," she added.
According to the Daily Mail, Death Valley is the driest and hottest location in the United States. It is also the lowest area, particularly the Furnace Creek that is located in the Mojave Desert of Southeastern California at 190 feet below sea level.
According to the National Weather Service, the temperature was reached at 3:41 p.m. (Pacific Time). World Meteorological Organization's weather and climate extremes team leader Randy Cerveny told The Washington Post in an email that he is "recommending that the World Meteorological Organization preliminarily accept the observation," which would break Death Valley's previous August record by three degrees. "Everything I've seen so far indicates that is a legitimate observation," Cerveny added.
National Weather System posted on Twitter that if this observation is confirmed, it will be at the current world's highest temperature also recorded in Death Valley over 107 years ago on July 10, 1913, at 134 degrees. However, this record is being contested by experts.
Christopher Burt, a weather historian, conducted an extensive analysis of the record in 2016, and he suggested that it was "essentially not possible from a meteorological perspective." Besides the 1913 record, Sunday's record goes beyond that 131F reading on July 7, 1931, from Kebili, Tunisia, which Burt also claimed to have "serious credibility issue," according to New York Post.
Other highest temperature readings on Earth were 129F logged in Death Valley on June 30, 2013, as well as those recorded in Kuwait in 2016 and Pakistan in 2017, which were thumped by the recent highest temperature.
Cerveny vowed to examine the details of the observation in the coming weeks with the U.S. National Climate Extremes Committee.
Read also: Summer Heat and Foundation Issues in the DFW
Heatwave felt across West Coast
As more than 80 million people in almost the entire West Coast, as well as Central and Southern Plains, were affected by the heat alerts since Aug. 4, California's power grid issued a Stage 3 emergency alert at 6:30 p.m. Such emergency alert was not issued since 2001.
It then brought power outages that affected 300,000 customers throughout the state as energy demands surged and crushed the power grid. The power was restored at 10 p.m.
To avoid heatstroke and other adverse effects of a heatwave, particularly in the Death Valley, the national park suggests drinking plenty of water and avoiding hiking after 10 a.m.
The public is advised to be cautious of any signs of nausea or dizziness when they occur, dampen clothes. Find a cool place or a shade. As much as possible, seek help as soon as possible.
View this post on InstagramCould be a world record temperature! We hit 130 degrees today at Death Valley. (The visitor center thermometer runs 3-4 degrees warmer.) #deathvalleynationalpark #noaa #nationalweatherservice #findyourpark #parkrangerlife A post shared by Caroline Rohe (@c_rohe) on Aug 16, 2020 at 5:37pm PDT
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Written by CJ Robles