100 years ago, Death Valley set a scorching record -- 134 degree - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

100 years ago, Death Valley set a scorching record -- 134 degrees

Posted:
(Photo: Death Valley National Park) (Photo: Death Valley National Park)
Highlights
  • On July 10, 1913, Death Valley recorded the hottest known temperature -- 134 degrees
  • It was thought for years that Libya held the record, but experts decided that recording was flawed
  • At least 140 people gathered Wednesday in Death Valley to celebrate the record-setting day

By Ashley Fantz

The next time you're sweating and complaining that this summer is just too hot, consider this fun fact in weather world history: Exactly 100 years ago Wednesday, Death Valley National Park set the hottest temperature ever recorded in the world -- 134 degrees Fahrenheit.

At least 140 people showed to celebrate the anniversary and listen to weather experts discuss the record at Furnace Creek Visitor Center and Museum in the expanse of eastern California desert.

"I was really happy looking out in that auditorium as we spoke. There were a lot of weather tourists who are very interested in this," said Randy Cerveny, professor of geographical sciences at Arizona State University. He's with the World Meteorological Organization that made the determination that 134 was the world record.

Temperatures in Death Valley normally reach or exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit from mid-May until early October, according to the National Weather Service. Yet tourists still visit the area during this time and there's even one of the hardest footraces in the world staged there every summer called the Badwater Ultramarathon.

When CNN spoke with Cerveny Wednesday night around 10:40 p.m. ET, the National Weather Service said that the temps would hover between 94 and 97 at Furnace Creek.

While Death Valley's July 10, 1913, recorded temperature now is considered the hottest ever, on September 13, 1922, a temperature reading of 136 degrees was recorded in El Azizia, Libya.

Though the Libya recording had been certified by the World Meteorological Organization as the hottest air temperature ever recorded, evidence about Libya's record later suggested that it was invalid.

Cerveny said that a member of the WMO had managed to obtain handwritten records that indicated there might have been a wrong recording taken.

An investigating committee including experts from Libya, Italy, Spain, Egypt, France, Morocco, Argentina, United States, and United Kingdom looked into the matter between 2010 and 2011, and decided that El Azizia's recording was flawed for possibly several reasons, including problematic instrumentation and probably an inexperienced observer, according to Cerveny and the World Meteorological Organization.

On September 12, 2012, the WMO officially recertified the 134 reading at Death Valley as the all-time highest air temperature taken on the planet.

Though 134 degrees may seem incomprehensible, the U.S. southwest has been grappling in recent days with scorching temperatures. Nevada, California and Arizona were choked by extreme heat through the July Fourth holiday.

The Southwest heat wave made June the hottest month on record for Las Vegas, Death Valley, and Needles, California, the National Weather Service said.

Could Death Valley break its own record, CNN asked Cerveny.

"Oh, yes, we've been seeing so many records broken lately," he said, "and if that one is broken, so I wouldn't be surprised at all."

CNN's Chandler Friedman contributed to this report.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • In somber ceremony, Dutch welcome home first remains of MH17 victims

    In somber ceremony, Dutch welcome home first remains of MH17 victims

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:47 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:47:58 GMT
    CNNCNN
    (CNN) -- A lone bugler sounding the traditional military farewell "Last Post" marked the arrival Wednesday in the Netherlands of the first dead from the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.More >>
    (CNN) -- A lone bugler sounding the traditional military farewell "Last Post" marked the arrival Wednesday in the Netherlands of the first dead from the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.More >>
  • Washington family says dog reunited with Texas family belongs to them

    Washington family says dog reunited with Texas family belongs to them

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:25 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:25:07 GMT
    It was a joyous reunion for one family and a devastating loss for another. The Miller family of Tyler lost their beloved Maltese named Reese seven years ago. The little white dog escaped while the Millers were visiting family in Balch Springs.More >>
    It was a joyous reunion for one family and a devastating loss for another. The Miller family of Tyler lost their beloved Maltese named Reese seven years ago. The little white dog escaped while the Millers were visiting family in Balch Springs.More >>
  • ‘Operation Coyote’ targets human smuggling networks

    ‘Operation Coyote’ targets human smuggling networks

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-07-22 20:43:13 GMT
    photo: (ICE)photo: (ICE)
    WASHINGTON (KYTX) — In a news conference Tuesday, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, joined by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol and U.S. Deputy Attorney General announced the progress of ongoing enforcement efforts by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Department of Justice to target human smuggling networks in the Rio Grande Valley.More >>
    WASHINGTON (KYTX) — In a news conference Tuesday, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, joined by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol and U.S. Deputy Attorney General announced the progress of ongoing enforcement efforts by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Department of Justice to target human smuggling networks in the Rio Grande Valley.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.