Death Valley hits 130 degrees, close to world record

Death Valley National Park hit 130 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday, which is only four degrees shy of the highest recorded temperature on the planet, according to the Las Vegas National Weather Service

Preliminary forecasts for the park, which is located along the border of California and Nevada, also indicated a one in four chance of reaching 130 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday.

The National Weather Service said observed temperatures are considered preliminary and not yet validated.

The official hottest temperature in the world was measured on July 10, 1913, when Death Valley National Park reached 134 degrees, according to Guinness World Records. The National Weather Service said Death Valley “likely won’t be reaching its world record temperature” this weekend, but an excessive heat warning has been issued and remains in effect until Monday evening. 

“HEED THESE WARNINGS,” the Las Vegas Weather Service wrote on Twitter. “Do not put yourself, nor first responders in danger this weekend!”

Under the “dangerously hot conditions,” the weather service recommends people living in areas under excessive heat warnings stay hydrated, avoid being in the sun, wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing and know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

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TOPSHOT – Signage warns of extreme heat danger at the salt flats of Badwater Basin inside Death Valley National Park on June 17, 2021 in Inyo County, California.  PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

An extreme heat wave is affecting much of the West Coast as wildfires in Oregon have threatened vital California power lines, requiring thousands of mandatory evacuations.

Temperatures in Las Vegas are forecasted to reach 116 degrees over the weekend, and could approach the city’s all-time highest recorded temperature of 117 degrees, forecasters said.

Last month Portland, Oregon experienced a record-breaking temperature of 116 degrees, and as of Friday, reported 83 preliminary confirmed deaths related to the heatwave, the Oregon State Medical Examiner said.

Between June 25 and July 1, Washington state also had more than 2,000 reported emergency room visits and 78 deaths that were likely related to the extreme heat wave, the state’s department of health said.

Acting State Health Officer Scott Lindquist said, “This huge jump in mortality due to heat is tragic.” 

On Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed that this June was the hottest June on record for the U.S, as the nation’s drought intensified and expanded. A study conducted by 27 climate scientists from the World Weather Attribution Network said that the West’s record-breaking heat would have been “virtually impossible without human-caused climate change.”

“Our rapidly warming climate is bringing us into uncharted territory that has significant consequences for health, well-being, and livelihoods,” the analysis said. “Adaptation and mitigation are urgently needed to prepare societies for a very different future.”