When Las Vegas sets a new all-time high temperature record, something unpleasant is happening with the weather. When it is too hot for planes to fly out of Phoenix, or the country sets a new all-time high temperature for June? Be glad that you don't live in the Southwest. Or, if you do, spend a few minutes today giving thanks to the inventor of air conditioning.
Death Valley, as we noted last week, holds the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth, 134 degrees in 1913. Now it adds another crown: the hottest temperature during June in the continental United States. Congratulations, foolhardy residents of the region, here is your award, it is lots of sweat.
Over the past three days, the temperature at Furnace Creek — site of the 1913 record — averaged 112 degrees. Averaged. At no point during those 72 hours did it drop below 96 degrees. That is ridiculous. (You'll notice that, meanwhile, the humidity barely registered. This was a large part of the problem contributing to the heat wave: no water vapor.)
Temperatures only hit 126 at Furnace Creek. At the non-jokingly-named Volcano, California, temperatures spiked to 129.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration logs daily records across the country. So far, there is only data for Friday and Saturday in the system. But here are all of the broken and tied same-day records during that period. At Iron Mountain, near San Bernadino, a 19-year record for June 28th was beaten by 8.1 degrees.