Death Valley, the hottest place on Earth, just got hotter

Death Valley, the hottest place on Earth, just got hotter

Outdoors

Death Valley, the hottest place on Earth, just got hotter

Death Valley National Park just recorded its hottest month ever and there doesn’t appear to be any relief in sight from the record heat.

Death Valley, known as the hottest place on Earth, averaged 108.1 degrees Fahrenheit for the month of July, breaking last year’s record of 107.4 degrees.

More remarkable, the daytime temperatures have reached 120 degrees or higher in all but one of the last 18 days of July, reaching a high of 127 degrees four days in a row, according to Death Valley National Park’s news release issued Wednesday afternoon.

On 10 occasions in July, the overnight low failed to go below 100 degrees as “Death Valley set new record high overnight lows on six dates last month,” the release said.

More of the same is predicted as daytime highs are expected to reach at least 120 degrees through Saturday.

Not surprisingly, there have been multiple heat-related incidents that park rangers have responded to including the death of Peter Rhoad, 57, from Huntington Beach, Calif. He fell while hiking to Panamint Butte in mid July.

And two French tourists attempted to scramble directly down a steep, loose slope from Dantes View (elevation 5,475 feet) to Badwater (elevation 282 feet). They were rescued by a Navy helicopter from China Lake Naval Weapons Area as they encountered “unclimbable cliffs.” They overheated and dehydrated.

“During the past two weeks we have found about a dozen dead animals that have no obvious signs of trauma,” said Josh Hoines, Chief of Natural and Cultural Resources Management in Death Valley National Park. “We suspect that these animals are casualties of this record period of heat.”

From Death Valley National Park:

Park rangers urge summer visitors to stay in well-traveled areas of the park, so that other people might provide help in case of a vehicle break-down. Cell phones do not work in most of the park. Other tips for a safe visit include drinking plenty of water, eating snacks, limiting activities outside of air-conditioning, and visiting viewpoints at higher elevations, like Dantes View.

Top photo by David McNew/Getty Images. Second photo showing the daytime average temperature at Furnace Creek Visitor Center provided by Death Valley National Park.

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