Death Valley – On July 10th, 1913, the mercury skyrocketed to 134°F at the appropriately named Furnace Creek.
“On July 10, 1913, a temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded here, which stands as the hottest air temperature ever recorded on a properly sited and maintained thermometer anywhere in the world,” the National Weather Service reports.
“This is as symbolic a mark for meteorologists as Mount Everest is for geographers,” said weather historian Christopher Burt last year. Burt works with the Weather Underground, a private meteorology company.
For many decades, the Death Valley mark was not considered the official world record: On Sept. 13, 1922, a temperature of 136 degrees F was supposedly recorded at El Azizia, Libya. However, new evidence about that reading last year showed that it was invalid.
Death Valley has a hellish climate almost unlike any other spot on the planet: “With an average daily high of 115 degrees and a low of 87 during the month of July, Death Valley is far and away the hottest location in North America and perhaps the hottest place in the world,” Burt writes in his book Extreme Weather.
Triple-digit temperatures are typical from the middle of May to very early October. The most sweltering days feature highs of 120 degrees or greater, the weather service reports.
In late June, during the extreme heat wave in the Southwest, the temperature soared to 129 degrees in Death Valley, just 5 degrees shy of the all-time record.