It Was 130 Degrees in Death Valley This Weekend—Likely the Hottest Temperature Recorded on Earth Since 1913

Death Valley National Park in California.
Death Valley National Park in California. / Angel Di Bilio/iStock via Getty Images

With a name like Death Valley, you expect some unpleasant environmental conditions. But the California hotspot went one better this past weekend, recording a staggering temperature of 130°F. According to The Washington Post, it might be the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth in the month of August—if not the highest of all time.

The temperature still needs to be verified. If accurate, it would break the previous August record for Death Valley by three degrees. The World Meteorological Association and the U.S. National Climate Extremes Committee, among others, will work to determine whether the reading was accurate.

The current world record for the hottest temperature recorded on Earth was 134°F and was set by Death Valley back on July 10, 1913. A scorching 131°F was also observed in Kebili, Tunisia, on July 7, 1931. Because some meteorologists believe these two readings may not have been totally accurate, it’s possible the 129°F observed in Death Valley in 2013 and the 129°F recorded in both Kuwait in 2016 and Pakistan in 2017 could be the current highest temperatures. If so, and if the latest temperature can be verified, that would make it the new record holder by one degree.

While Death Valley is known for its blistering heat, much of the Western United States has seen sweltering temperatures this month. Phoenix, Arizona, recorded 117°F; Sacramento, California, recorded 112°F.

While these temperatures are undoubtedly impressive, they’re still not quite enough to attempt to fry an egg on a sidewalk. Egg yolks usually need at least 150°F in order to cook, and concrete is a rather poor heat conductor.

[h/t The Washington Post]