NOAA is sponsoring a heated celebration of 134°F at Death Valley

From NOAA/NWS Western Regional Headquarters, something that makes me wonder if they’ll have a similar celebration of the coldest temperature in the USA of −79.8 °F (−62.1 °C)  recorded in Prospect Creek, Alaska on January 23rd, 1975,  or the coldest temperature on Earth of −128.6 °F ( −89.2 °C ) at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica, on July 21st, 1983. Somehow, I doubt it.

They offer this once in a lifetime event (open to the public):

Join the Celebration:

On July 10th, 1913 the weather observer at Greenland Ranch in Death Valley, California recorded a high temperature of 134°F (56.7°C). This is the highest reliably recorded air temperature on Earth. Please join us at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center on Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the world record high temperature. By attending you will:

  • Experience the conditions that make Death Valley the hottest place on Earth.
  • Be there as the official temperature observation is made.
  • Learn about Weather and Climate Extremes (WMO Extremes Archive)
  • Learn about how another claim to the world’s hottest temperature title was invalidated after 90 years.
  • Learn about protecting yourself from extreme heat from people who live there.

Guest Speakers:

  • Christopher Burt – Weather Underground
  • Dr. Randall Cerveny – Ariz. State University/World Meteorological Organization
  • Chris Stachelski – NOAA’s National Weather Service – Las Vegas, NV
  • TBD – Death Valley National Park

About the record:

Death Valley, California is known for being a land of extremes, including its climate. Temperatures here normally reach or exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit from mid-May until early October. On July 10, 1913 a temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded here which stands as the hottest air temperature ever recorded on a properly sighted and maintained thermometer anywhere in the world.

During July 1913, Death Valley endured an intense stretch of hot weather from the 5th through the 14th when the high temperature reached 125 degrees Fahrenheit or greater every day. This 10 day consecutive stretch ranks as the longest such period on record here. The hottest days were from the 9th through the 13th when the high reached at least 129 degrees Fahrenheit. The most sweltering day was on July 10th when the temperature spiked to 134 degrees Fahrenheit. Although Death Valley was known for being an extremely hot place, this reading helped to solidify this reputation.

On September 13, 1922 a temperature of 136 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded at El Azizia, Libya. This was eventually certified by the World Meteorological Organization as the hottest air temperature ever recorded on Earth. However, evidence about the 136 degree reading suggested that it was invalid. On September 12, 2012 the World Meteorological Organization officially re-certified the 134 degree reading at Death Valley as the all-time highest air temperature recorded on the planet.


11:00 – 12:00 Press conference and media interviews
12:00 – 12:20 What Makes Death Valley the Hottest Place on Earth? – NWS
12:20 – 12:45 History of the Death Valley Weather Station – Chris Stachelski, NWS
12:45 – 1:30 What is it Like to Live in the Hottest Place on Earth? – NPS
1:30 – 1:50 Break
1:50 – 2:35 Overturning the Libya Record – Christopher Burt, Weather Underground
2:35 – 3:20 World’s hottest recorded temperature? Who’s to blame? – Dr. Randall Cerveny, WMO/ASU
3:20 – 3:45 What Made July 10, 1913 So Hot? – Chris Stachelski, NWS
3:45 Head outside for 4:00 temperature observation.

Contact Information:

Dan Berc Cheryl Chipman
Warning Coordination Meteorologist Public Information Officer
National Weather Service Death Valley National Park
Las Vegas, NV Furnace Creek, CA
(702) 263-9744 x223 (760) 786-3207


Word has it that CNN will be there. Hopefully Al Gore will attend also so that we can get the full power of the Gore effect demonstrated on international television.

Barring that, I have a friend who flies an air fire tanker who might be able to supply some instant comic relief.


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Jim McCulley

We have to much time on our hands.

Hot under the collar

More “Hot Air” sponsored by NOAA?


they had to get a “who’s to blame” in didn’t they.


Hurry celebrate now before134F gets homogenised away.

Peter Plail

I wonder whether “properly sighted” means it has a clear view of the surrounding conditions or whether they are simply illiterate and meant “properly sited”.

Peter Plail

And why would you want people to voluntarily come and expose themselves to such high temperatures. Everyone in the UK knows that (according to the BBC during earlier hot spells) temperatures above 30 deg C are lethal.


I think it is nice that they point out that this heat record has not been broken in 100 years. I just can’t imagine that Al Gore would leave the climatized environment of one of his manisons to break into sweat to attend.

Village Idiot

“..makes me wonder if they’ll have a similar celebration of the coldest temperature in the USA of −79.8 °F (−62.1 °C) recorded in Prospect Creek, Alaska on January 23rd, 1975, or the coldest temperature on Earth of −128.6 °F ( −89.2 °C ) at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica, on July 21st, 1983. Somehow, I doubt it.”
Instead of just whimpering about it, Tony, you could do something. 😉 Uuups! Forgot. You won’t be about then. By then they’ll no doubt be commiserating those looong gone cold records. Or on the other hand, as we’re on our way towards the “New Little Ice Age”, by that time the cold records ought to have tumbled regularly…


This is temperature the sun can heat to the normal COOLING effect of the atmosphere are turned off by small blockages in circulation.
There is no need for any greenhouse effect, just spread this heat around the globe..
Anyway.. its good to know the world still capable of the same maximum temperature now, as it was 100 years ago.


I take it that your friend in the tanker will pour some cold water on all the hot air.

Make sure to park all the vehicles with their exhaust pipes aimed towards the thermometer. Also run all the air conditioners full blast. Be there!


ps.. do people realise that when the sun is directly overhead at the equation, the 342w/m2 reading is well inside the arctic circle !! (75 deg to be nearly precise)


Fantastic! For a while there I thought this was being promoted by CAGW skeptics …. but I still think it is very educational to highlight that the hottest air temperature on earth was recorded 100 years ago.
Surely that’s going to make the average citizen stop and think; “Hang on, haven’t they been telling us it’s been continuously getting warmer for the last 50 years or so?”


um this looks pretty innocent to me. with sincere respect, attributing this to an NOAA “agenda” is a little black helicopterish if you ask me. just my opinion.

Peter Plail says:
July 2, 2013 at 3:46 am
And why would you want people to voluntarily come and expose themselves to such high temperatures. Everyone in the UK knows that (according to the BBC during earlier hot spells) temperatures above 30 deg C are lethal.
The average daily high for Richmond, VA, is 32°C. I’ve been attempting the “lethal for us senior citizens” excuse for going fishing and not cutting the grass. She who must be obeyed is not amused.
The NPS has curtailed activities at Civil War parks around here for temps above 100°F because of health concerns. 134°F can be really dangerous for people who are not prepared for it and for some who are prepared. I can’t imagine what NOAA is thinking with this invitation. Obamacare that good in CA?

100 years and no increase. So I guess just the rest of the planet is warming, not Death Valley?

Trond A

From an AGW point of view this must be a diappointment; no warming for a hundred years. 🙂
But from another point of view: According to the coordinates the sun should be about 13 degrees from zenith in the middle of the day. With no atmosphere this would correspond to about 1330 W/m2 incoming radiation, which for a blackbody (as the earth is compared to in such situations) would give a surface temperature of 244 degrees F. Even with a desert albedo of 20% it would be 206 degrees F. With an atmosphere the greenhouse effect should add substantially with back radiation and give an even much higher temperature. But the reality shows the opposite, it is much, much lower. Not denying radiation from CO2, this must be a good example of the very strong effect of convection; it beats the greenhouse effect. If the greenhouse effect increases, so does the the convection. A matter of balance.

I was once in Death Valley, more than 30 years ago.
It rained.


So.. Will the event be attended by people using fossil fuels or do they intend to cycle, hike etc?


JPS. Spot on. It looks like the whole thing is just about a previous record. That can’t be sure that a high pressure stall over AZ will still be there in 8 days. Frankly, in MN we love it when these events happen as the same Hi-P stall over AZ that causes these records temps is the same event that causes MN to have beautiful summer weather. After spending many a summer in the field in the desert SW I have to say, why the heck would anyone live there. This is pretty normal in the big picture. Lethal weather that you can barely escape. At least at -50 F you can put some clothes on.


NOAA thinks the Libyan thermometer is poorly sited? Pot, meet kettle.
And is Death Valley really “the hottest place on earth”? What about those locations in Saudi and Kuwait, etc. that (occasionally) have it worse?


It may not be as bad as suspected. Dr. Cerveny has been associated with some well-known skeptics in the climatology field.

> 1:50 – 2:35 Overturning the Libya Record – Christopher Burt, Weather Underground
If anyone goes, ask what the motivation was to reexamine that record reading so many years after it was recorded. A perfectly innocent answer is that it hadn’t been beaten in that many years. The reason it was overturned made a lot of sense, the claim is that a novice observer read the wrong end of the wire on the max thermometer (the wire is pushed up by mercury and remains there when it retreats).

AndyG55 says:
July 2, 2013 at 4:10 am

ps.. do people realise that when the sun is directly overhead at the equation, the 342w/m2 reading is well inside the arctic circle !! (75 deg to be nearly precise)

Which equation? Stefan–Boltzmann, I presume. 🙂


Trond A says “If the greenhouse effect increases, so does the convection. A matter of balance.”
Yesm.. its controlled by the pressure gradient. Increase the temp at the surface, the atmosphere tries harder to cool it down. But without a lot of H2O, the cooling is not as effective.


Ric, the flat earth climate models use 342w/m2 as the solar energy. ie quarter of the direct incident TSI.
So if the sun is directly overhead at the equator you have 1368w/m2 (or close to), and you have to go 75 degrees to get quarter that value.

Peter Miller

Just for the record, I went to Death Valley at midday in July about 15 years ago, it was over 125 degrees F – never again.
This party looks a little too much like someone is worried about budget cuts and is trying to drum up some PR for the cause of bloated bureaucracies in government climate organisations.

4 eyes

Does it all matter?
I observed 57.1 degC at the Yibal oilfield in Oman about 80 km from the Saudi border in 2002. That was hot, real hot, and made my central Australia seem quite mild. Omanis who had worked there for years said at the time that they had witnessed 61 degC several years earlier. In 2003 I spent the summer 80 km away at Lekhwair oilfiled, also in Oman, on the Saudi / UAE / Omani border where every day for my whole 28 days roster the maximum temperature was at least 52 degC, most days exceeding 53 degC. The Omani rig hands just kept working and chattering away, 40 minutes on the rigfloor and 20 minutes off in the aircon. The Omanis stay wrapped up in the wooly scarves until it reaches the high 40s but then heat retention exceeds heat loss via evaporation through the wooly mesh so they start stripping off. The Omanis have adapted to higher – much higher – temperatures than most people will ever experience. OK the meteorological obs weren’t done in a strictly scientific way but the engineer in me made sure that I protected the gauge from as much radiation exposure and conductive heat gain as I could. A year earlier I was at a well 150 km further south on the Saudi border in the empty quarter – Google that area, there’s nothing there, no roads or towns, no observable signs of life, just the old dead little bush. It was just as hot. There are a lot of hot places in this world, most not monitored, and somewhere has to be the hottest. Being able to proudly claim the record proves nothing. I guess it gives a place a reputation and makes money for someone. Of course, it just has to be in the good ol’ US of A otherwise it aint important and aint worth mentioning. And – an old memory, probably corrupted by age – years ago didn’t the Guiness Book of Records used to list a place in Ethiopa as the hottest at 61degC in 1965?
What made it so hot in 1913? Just freakish weather I guess. If one day is 0.1 deg hotter now it is global warming.

chris y

Headline in LA Times-
“As tourists flock to heat, Death Valley plans party: Hottest day ever”
Jay Jones, July 1, 2013
So, we have people traveling in response to a weather extreme.
Climateers claim that man’s carbon toxins drive all weather extremes (and all routine weather as well?).
Can the tourists flocking to Furnace Creek claim status as ‘climate refugees’?
Are they entitled to climate reparation money laundered by the UN?


1913..? How can that be..? Everyone knows that ‘climate’ only started about 1975….


Even if the record temperature of 134 deg F is equalled or exceeded this year it will not be as extreme a hot record as the 1913 event.
The decade average back then was around two deg F lower than the present so that 134deg F record was two degrees more above the average than any current record.
The larger the margin between the average for a month and the record (low or high) the less frequently such records occur. The probability follows a power law rather than a Gaussian distribution. This means that any current temperature equalling or surpassing the old record is actually less extreme and much more probable than the old record.

Frederick Michael

I’m all for highlighting our current inability to break this record.


This is just bazaar. With all the anticipation and money spent on the event it makes me wonder that someone might try to rig the scene to make it happen. I hope there is more than one thermometer.


I suspect we’re reading too much into this event. If we follow the rule of “Follow the money” I think we might find the local chamber of commerce or tourism board behind the whole thing, with NOAA merely pasted on the front for appearances.
Small towns are always looking for money and tourist money is sweet sweet stuff. How to get some is the question. Any marketer will tell you that you sell what ya got, and if you ain’t got nuthin, you make something, ahem, find something. In a world where, for a small fee, we can see the image of Jesus in a ham sandwich, or visit the building which was formerly Elvis’ Junior High School, I don’t find this event too surprising.


So, do you think they will talk about nature’s extremes and beauty, or make it a climate change political event?


Have they never measured the air temperature over a volcano?


When has science (of the non political variety) ever been about “blame?”


A deep sea black smoker is a lot hotter also.


Let’s start celebrating all weather events. Brrrrr.

Merco Press – 5 August 2010
Snow in Brazil, below zero Celsius in the River Plate and tropical fish frozen
……..reports from landlocked Bolivia indicate that to the east of the country in tropical areas
temperatures plummeted to zero causing “millions of dead fish” in rivers that normally flow in an environment
of 20 Celsius….
BBC News – 9 March 2010
Snow hits Mediterranean coast
Blizzards have hit the French Mediterranean coast amid warnings of up to 20 inches of snow in Northern
CSM – 9 January, 2010
Snow in Florida: Big chill culling unwanted iguanas and pythons
…the extended cold threatened rare native species like turtles and the Florida manatee…
Tunisia Live – 6 February 2012
Tataouine, the Setting of Star Wars, Covered in Snow
Residents of the southern Tunisian towns of Tataouine and Matmata…
…enough to transform the landscape from an arid desert to a glistening-white tundra….
Guardian – 10 January 2013
Snow blankets Jerusalem – in pictures
The worst snowstorm in 20 years has shut roads and schools in Jerusalem as the harsh weather affects regions
across the Middle East


“highest reliably recorded air temperature on Earth”
That’s because the empty quarter in Arabia is so hot and dry and foreign that no one considered “reliable” goes there. Since Death Valley is 282 feet below sea level, I’m curious about how many degrees would come off if you corrected for lapse rate effects and adjusted to a sea level elevation.


We did a snowball fight at Badwater Basin – that’s how cold it really is there 😉 — Brought our snow from the mountains 🙂

Scott Scarborough

That seems to work in our favor. Celebrating a world record in heat that is over 100 years old would seem to bring attention to the fact that it IS 100 YEARS OLD!

Eli Rabett

Eli rather suspects this event is the result of some real science. Read it.


Fascinating. The floor of Death Valley is radiating some 673w/m^2 which exceeds TSI at TOA.


Accuweather doesn’t even predict it to be close to 134 deg F.

Bunniboi comments here because he gets no traffic on his own blog. Maybe that is because no one is interested in reading about a putative adult who pretends to be a rabbit.

Philip Peake

NOAA just sent me an email telling me that they will no longer be sending weather alerts because of cost. But they can find the money for this sort of garbage?
Pity they can’t afford anyone to proof read their press releases too:
“recorded on a properly sighted and maintained thermometer” should of course read “recorded on a properly sited and maintained thermometer”


World’s hottest recorded temperature? Who’s to blame????????
……….in 1913!

Chuck Nolan

Goldie says:
July 2, 2013 at 4:52 am
So.. Will the event be attended by people using fossil fuels or do they intend to cycle, hike etc?
Silly, they’ll arrive in in town in their private jets and be driven to the “sight” in big black SUVs.
I recommend everybody show up in EVs and touring bicycles.
Prove that you mean it.
BTW don’t forget, if Al Gore is coming bring a jacket.


Since Warmists have now shifted to blaming hot weather on global warming, I’ll blame unprecedented summer snow on catastrophic global cooling. 🙂

Unprecedented summer snow in Norway June 29th
…As long Varberg can remember, there has not been snow on the mountain lodge at the end of June. …
…..Last year at this time, there was record snow in the western mountains. Not since NVE measurements began in 1971 has more snow been registered midway through June.