Heat Making Headlines

It’s July, so weather headlines, as you might expect, are all about heat, and the eye-opener headlines this week have been coming from the sizzling western United States. At Death Valley, CA temperatures have topped 120F for 4 consecutive days:

July 3rd: 121F
July 4th: 126F
July 5th: 127F
July 6th: 121F (as of 6pm PDT)

From here in Baltimore it looks like an impressive stretch of unimaginable heat, but in the oven of the Death Valley desert four days in the 120s doesn’t even come close to matching the record. In the summer of 1917 they recorded 43 consecutive days with highs of at least 120F!! The all-time record high for Death Valley was a mind-boggling 134F set on July 10, 1913, which by the way, is also the hottest temperature ever recorded in North America and just two degrees below the world’s record high temperature of 136F set on September 13, 1922 in El Azizia, Libya. To keep track of the heat in Death Valley, click here: Death Valley Observation.

While the temperature is extreme, so too is the dryness of Death Valley. On Friday afternoon when the temperature was at 120F, the relative humidity was a meager 4%! Naturally, this dry air produces very little rain. The last raindrops to fall in Death Valley came on April 16th, when .07″ was measured. For the year, so far, they have had just 0.30″ of rain.

Around here this weekend, expect temperatures to reach the low and mid 90s, and yes, the relative humidity values will be quite a bit higher than 4%!

Tom Tasselmyer

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