There’s lots of hullabaloo over the supposedly tied all time temperature record of 117°F in Las Vegas on June 29th, and the potential for a new all-time temperature record in Death Valley, which would negate the all time world record of 134F set on July 10th, 1913, since the previous world record in Libya of 136.4°F (58°C) was recently said to be unreliable. More on Death Valley in the next post, but for now let’s look at Las Vegas.
I don’t know where NBC news got 117°F where they say:
The high temperature officially hit 117 degrees at Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport — equaling the airport’s record
Even Drudge reported this.
Did NBC make this up? It wouldn’t be the first time they made up a news report to make it more spectacular. The official report from NWS Las Vegas for June 29th says 115°F:
CLIMATE REPORT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAS VEGAS, NV 212 AM PDT SUN JUN 30 2013 ................................... ...THE LAS VEGAS NV CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR JUNE 29 2013... CLIMATE NORMAL PERIOD 1981 TO 2010 CLIMATE RECORD PERIOD 1937 TO 2013 WEATHER ITEM OBSERVED TIME RECORD YEAR NORMAL DEPARTURE LAST VALUE (LST) VALUE VALUE FROM YEAR NORMAL .................................................................. TEMPERATURE (F) YESTERDAY MAXIMUM 115R 452 PM 115 1994 103 12 105 MINIMUM 89 529 AM 60 1941 79 10 82 AVERAGE 102 90 12 94
The 117°F is not mentioned in the Record Event Report either: 115°F is.
RECORD EVENT REPORT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAS VEGAS, NV 150 AM PDT SAT JUN 29 2013 ...SUMMARY OF RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES BROKEN ON 28 JUNE 2013... IN LAS VEGAS THE HIGH TEMPERATURE AT THE OFFICIAL CLIMATE STATION AT MCCARRAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REACHED 115 DEGREES. THIS TIED THE DAILY RECORD FOR JUNE 28TH SET IN 1994. THIS MARKS THE FIRST TIME LAS VEGAS HAS REACHED 115 AT MCCARRAN SINCE JULY 6, 2007 AND IN THE MONTH OF JUNE SINCE JUNE 30, 1994.IN LAS VEGAS AT NORTH LAS VEGAS AIRPORT THE HIGH TEMPERATURE REACHED 113 DEGREES. THIS BREAKS THE OLD DAILY RECORD OF 108 DEGREES SET ON JUNE 28TH 2003. THIS MARKS THE FIRST TIME NORTH LAS VEGAS AIRPORT HAS REACHED 113 SINCE JULY 7, 2007.
So, that 115°F is fairly unremarkable as temperatures go, having been reached twice before. According to the NWS Las Vegas, summary the all time high of 117°F has been reached twice before:
Highest Maximum Temperatures Recorded in Las Vegas – 117 degrees
July 19, 2005
July 24, 1942
Interesting to note that NWS Las Vegas has followed the lead of the Surface Stations project, and on their main web page today, provided photos of each weather station…well almost, they don’t have photos of the Ellis AFB weather station, just the tarmac. 5 out of six isn’t bad though, I’ll give them props for effort.
Their caption reads:
Although there are 6 official weather stations in the Las Vegas Valley, our long-term climate station is at McCarran Airport. Most weather stations are located at airports since the aviation community relies heavily on weather data for flights.
UPDATE: The new record report (preliminary, pending certification) for June 30th, today does show that the temperature reached 117F:
RECORD EVENT REPORT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAS VEGAS, NV 450 PM PDT SUN JUN 30 2013 ...LAS VEGAS TIES THE JACKPOT OF ALL-TIME RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES... ...ALL-TIME JUNE RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT LAS VEGAS... THE HIGH TEMPERATURE SO FAR TODAY AT MCCARRAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN LAS VEGAS HAS REACHED 117 DEGREES. THIS TIES THE ALL-TIME RECORD HIGH FOR LAS VEGAS FOR ANY MONTH FIRST SET ON JULY 24, 1942 AND TIED ON JULY 19, 2005. THIS ALSO SETS THE ALL-TIME JUNE RECORD HIGH FOR LAS VEGAS. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 116 DEGREES ON JUNE 15, 1940. THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS PRELIMINARY AND IS SUBJECT TO A FINAL REVIEW AND CERTIFICATION BY THE NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER.