Analysis: Extreme heat reading in Death Valley NP not just one-off freak event
How hot was it at the Furnace Creek visitor center at Death Valley national park on 16 August 2020? It was so hot that the huge electronic temperature display (which serves as a ubiquitous selfie backdrop) went on the fritz. Parts of the blocky digital display malfunctioned, resulting in numbers even higher than the actual mind-melting high on what turned out to be a landmark day.
An automated weather station at the visitor center recorded a preliminary high of 129.9F (54.4C) at 3.41pm PDT on Sunday. Even for heat-favored landscapes such as Death Valley, it is remarkable for temperatures to inch into such territory so late in the summer, when the sun is considerably lower in the sky than at the summer solstice in late June. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, the previous global record high for August is 127.9F (53.3C), recorded in Mitribah, Kuwait, in 2011.