When the high temperature is 120° (48.9°C) or hotter 27 times in a two month period, I don't care what anyone claims about "dry heat" - that is hot!
When the air is a searing 129.2° (54°C) it is kitchen-oven-hot out there. It doesn't feel like the typical sultry Cincinnati summer sauna, instead as you walk out the door you get smacked by a blast of heat that would make you swear you got your face too close when checking the Thanksgiving turkey.
When it is that hot, you do not need an assist from humidity to melt down, because you are in the hottest spot on the planet.
Welcome to Death Valley National Park and Reserve, 3 million plus acres of stark reality, a national treasure has the record of the hottest recorded temperature ever on the face of our otherwise, mostly, pleasant planet. On July 10, 1913 the valley was seared by a high air temperature of 134°F (56.7°C), part of a 5-day stretch with high temperatures of 129°F (54°C) or hotter.
If that is not hot enough for you, on July 15, 1972 at Furnace Creek (what a great name!) the temperature of the ground surface reached 201.0°F (93.9°C). That may not be enough heat to liquefy the rubber soles of your shoes but they certainly will get gummy.
The hottest spots on Earth are always deserts. In wetter regions of Earth a great deal of thermal energy is used to evaporate moisture from soils and a rule of thumb meteorologists have is do not predict record high temperatures in summer if soaking rains have fallen the prior week or two.
In addition with scant shading vegetation Earth's surface receives a full frontal assault by an uncountable number of solar photons that can go right to work heating things up because of the lack of moisture in the soil.
If the desert is low, below sea level like in much of Death Valley's lowest reaches, it can be even hotter.
Death Valley is dry - very dry. The average annual rainfall is puny. According to the Western Regional Climate Center at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, NV at Cow Creek Station only 2" falls in an average year. The sandy soil is plenty dry to fuel for scorching heat each summer.
In Death Valley the average monthly temperature for July 2017 was 107.24°F (41.8°C). It was likely the hottest monthly average temperature ever measured on Earth. Officially it is ranked as the 2nd Hottest Average Monthly temperature ever measured behind July 2014 at King Khaled Military City in Saudi Arabia where the average temperature for the month was 107.44°.
Brian Brettschneider has written an excellent article casting doubt on the accuracy of that monthly average temperature and he says the record should go to Death Valley. See it here:
Just what can I say about a place that experienced three mornings in July 2017 with low temperatures hotter than 100°F (37.8°C) and 78 days out of 92 for May, June and July with high temperatures 100°F (37.8°C) or hotter and 27 out of those same 92 days 120°F (48.9°) or hotter?
Death Valley not only feels like the hottest place on Earth but the staggering numbers confirm it.
Wednesday, October 18 2017 3:11 AM EDT2017-10-18 07:11:07 GMT
Thursday, October 19 2017 9:51 AM EDT2017-10-19 13:51:15 GMT
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