by Theresa Machemer/Smithsonianmag.com
On Sunday, July 11, a weather station at Stovepipe Wells in northern Death Valley National Park recorded an average temperature of 118.1 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest average daily temperature observed on Earth, Jason Samenow reports for the Washington Post.
The day started with a low temperature of 107.7 degrees Fahrenheit—a record-high in North America—and peaked at a high of 128.6 degrees Fahrenheit in the late afternoon. The measurements come amid a heat wave in the western United States and a drought worsened by human-caused climate change. The high temperatures and dry weather have exacerbated a wildfire in Oregon and threatened the power grid in California, reports Giulia Heyward for the New York Times.
But the high temperatures in Death Valley draw “heat tourists” each summer.
“If you spend more than 15 minutes outside, you can feel it,” says Patrick Taylor, Death Valley National Park’s chief of interpretation and education, to Erica Werner at the Washington Post. “Your heart rate goes up a lot. Sometimes it gets so hot, you can’t feel yourself sweat.”
A digital thermometer at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center displays a temperature reading for visitors. Read More: