One hundred years ago today, the temperature at California’s Furnace Creek in Death Valley National Park soared to 134°F. To this day, that is the highest air temperature ever recorded on Earth.
Situated in the Mojave Desert and 282 feet below sea level, Death Valley is the lowest and driest place in the United States. Its unique geography traps hot desert air and helps to heat it even further. While the area does have seasons, summer is extremely hot. From June through August, daytime highs in the triple digits and over-night lows in the 90s are not uncommon.
The heat wave that gripped the southwestern U.S. last month had some people thinking the Death Valley record might be broken, especially when the temperature reached 129°F on June 30th. While this set a new monthly record for June, the century old world record still stands.
Image Credit: NPS