Death Valley is known widely as the hottest place on Earth. That is based largely on a temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit, measured on July 10, 1913. A number of weather experts don’t believe the figure. It was taken with primitive instruments (by today’s standards) and therefore can’t be relied upon. The temperature approached that figure today when the National Weather Service posted a number of 130 degrees in Death Valley.
In a story titled “Death Valley Hits 130 Degrees as Heat Wave Sweeps the West,” a writer for The New York Times describes the latest in a series of “heat domes” that have covered vast parts of the Southwest and Northeast parts of the United States. One of the paper’s reports wrote:
Much of the West is facing further record-breaking temperatures over the coming days, with over 31 million people in areas under excessive heat warnings or heat advisories. It is the third heat wave to sweep the region this summer.
Weather and climate experts expect the number and duration of these to grow. And, the United States is not the only region affected. Areas as far north as Siberia and portions of the Arctic have set temperatures well above historic highs in just the last several months.
The heat problem has occurred at the same time a vast drought has attacked much of the western part of America. In a story titled “This State Has the Worst Drought in America,” one of our writers pointed out that the highest level of drought based on the widely followed Drought Monitor is called D4. Further, the writer points out:
One state has high the highest level by far of its square mileage designated as D4. It is Utah, at 65.23%. Amazingly, one year ago, that figure was zero. The area of D4 drought runs from Great Salt Lake, the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere, to Utah’s southern border.
The levels of lakes around this part of the country are at or near all times lows, increasing the magnitude of the water shortage problem for humans and the agriculture industry.
One of the notable things about today’s 130 degrees weather in Death Valley is that most experts believe it is not exceptional anymore.