Meteorologists seek to confirm 130-degree Death Valley temp

Weather

This Jan. 2019 photo provided by the U.S. National Park Service shows vehicle tracks in an area of Death Valley National Park, Calif., that park staff says can leave a lasting trench. As 40 million Californians spend another weekend in the shadow of the coronavirus outbreak, there are signs officials are beginning to lose patience with those who violate stay-at-home and social distancing orders designed to slow the spread of the infection. “Effective Saturday, April 4, 2020, Death Valley National Park will be closed to all park visitors until further notice,” according to a release from the park. Death Valley National Park is closed, due to public health concerns. All park facilities, restrooms, viewpoints, trails, roads, and campgrounds are closed until further notice. CA-190 and Daylight Pass are open to pass-through traffic. (National Park Service via AP, File)

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — An automated measuring system in California’s Death Valley reported a temperature of 130 degrees (54.4 degrees Celsius) amid a blistering heat wave on Sunday, a reading that would be among the highest ever recorded globally if it is confirmed.

The temperature was recorded at 3:41 p.m. at Furnace Creek near the park’s visitor center, the National Weather Service said in a statement that described the measurement as preliminary and not yet official.

“If verified, this will be the hottest temperature officially verified since July of 1913, also at Death Valley. As this is an extreme temperature event, the recorded temperature will need to undergo a formal review,” the statement said.

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

The World Meteorological Organization said in a tweet that it also will work to verify Sunday’s measurement.

“This would be the hottest global temperature officially recorded since 1931,” it said.

That temperature was 131 degrees (55 Celsius) recorded in Kebili, Tunisia, on July 7, 1931, and it also is disputed.

Death Valley, an austere landscape in the desert of southeastern California, includes Badwater Basin, which at 282 feet (85.9 meters) below sea level is the lowest point in North America.

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.

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