Death Valley breaks September single-day world temperature record with 127 degree heat

The whole state of California is in a heat state of emergency

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Saturday 03 September 2022 21:08 BST
Fire scorches field next to California highway

Even for a place named Death Valley, temperatures have reached punishing new heights.

A thermometer at the famed park in the Southern California desert reached 127 degrees Fahrenheit (52 degrees C) on Thursday in the Furnace Creek area, according to the National Parks Service.

"The ground heats up, we’ve measured temperatures of 201 as far as ground temperatures. The ground is then radiating heat back up into the air," Death Valley National Park spokeswoman Abby Wines told CBS LA on Friday.

The scorching record comes close to the world’s highest recorded temperature, which also occurred in Death Valley, in 1912, according to the NPS. Then, the mercury topped out at an infernal 134 degrees.

The record heat comes during the Labour Day holiday weekend, and just weeks after record rainfall caused flash flooding in the park that stranded 1,000 people and buried 60 vehicles.

Excessive heat is predicted across the Golden State throughout the coming days.

On Tuesday, temperatures are expected to reach 112F (44C) in Fresno and 110F (43C) in Sacramento. Highs in other parts of the Central Valley are expected to reach between 107F (42C) and 109F (43C).

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Sacramento has encouraged people to walk their dogs in the morning to keep their feet off the hot ground. When air temperatures reach 102F (39C), they note, asphalt can get as hot as 167F (75C), and concrete can reach 143F (63C).

The Los Angeles area is expected to get its hottest temperatures on Sunday and Monday, with highs in parts of the San Fernando Valley reaching up to 114 (46C) on Sunday. Downtown LA is supposed to reach around 100F (38C) all weekend.

This week, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in response to the heat, putting 50 million people under heat advisories, and warned that the power grid might go down temporarily due to excessive demand from air conditioners.

“This is just the latest reminder of how real the climate crisis is, and how it is impacting the everyday lives of Californians,” he said in a statement.

“While we are taking steps to get us through the immediate crisis, this reinforces the need for urgent action to end our dependence on fossil fuels that are destroying our climate and making these heat waves hotter and more common.”

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