The new hottest place on Earth: Death Valley, California

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:18 PM GMT on September 13, 2012

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As any weather aficionado can avow, Earth's most iconic weather record has long been the legendary all-time hottest temperature of 58°C (136.4°F) measured 90 years ago today at El Azizia, Libya on September 13, 1922. One hundred thirty six degrees! It's difficult to comprehend that heat like that could exist on our planet. For 90 years, no place on Earth has come close to beating the unbelievable 136 degree reading from Al Azizia, and for good reason--the record is simply not believable. But Earth's mightiest weather record has been officially cast down. Today, the official arbiter of Earth's weather records, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), announced that the all-time heat record held for exactly 90 years by El Azizia in Libya "is invalid because of an error in recording the temperature." The WMO committee found five major problems with the measurement. Most seriously, the temperature was measured in a paved courtyard over a black, asphalt-like material by a new and inexperienced observer, not trained in the use of an unsuitable replacement instrument that could be easily misread. The observer improperly recorded the observation, which was consequently in error by about 7°C (12.6°F.) The new official highest hottest place on the planet is now Death Valley, California. A remarkable high temperature of 56.7°C (134°F) was measured there on 10 July 1913, at Greenland Ranch.


Figure 1. The trading post at Al Azizia, Libya in 1923. The photo was taken from the Italian military fort located on a small hill just south of the trading post. It was at this fort that the temperature of 58°C (136.4°F) was observed on Sept. 13, 1922 (used with permission from the family of Gen. Enrico Pezzi).

The story behind the overturning of Earth's most hallowed weather record
Today's announcement is the culmination of a 3-year research effort begun by wunderground weather historian, Christopher C. Burt. His blog post today, World Heat Record Overturned--A Personal Account, provides a fascinating detective story on how the record came to be cast down--and how the Libyan revolution of 2012 almost prevented this from happening.


Figure 2. The new official hottest place on the planet: Death Valley, California. Wide open spaces, infinite views, intensely salty water, mind-boggling heat. What's not to love about this place? Image credit: Wunderphotographer SonomaCountyRAF.

Dead Heat: The Video
Don't miss the 25-minute wunderground video, Dead Heat, a detective story on how the El Azizia record was overturned.

Atlantic tropical update
Tropical Storm Nadine is recurving to the northwest and north well east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, on a track that would likely keep this storm far out at sea away from any land areas. However, Nadine may eventually threaten the Azores Islands or Newfoundland; the models are divided on how the steering currents will evolve next week, and we cannot be sure which way Nadine will go during the middle of next week.

The models predict that a trough of low pressure off the U.S. East Coast may serve as the focus for development of a non-tropical low pressure system on Sunday or Monday, but this low will likely form too far to the north to become a tropical storm. The GFS model has been predicting a tropical wave coming off the coast of Africa may develop next week, but has not been consistent with the timing or location of the development.

In the Western Pacific, Super Typhoon Sanba is an impressive top-end Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, and is headed north-northwest towards a possible landfall in Korea early next week.

Given the importance of the new world record all-time high temperature, I'll leave this post up until Saturday afternoon, when I'll post an update on the tropics.

Jeff Masters

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The eye is slowly becoming cloud-filled and the deep convection around it is slowly fading. Sanba has peaked.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
Quoting BigTuna:
Come on now, I'm trying to have a serious discussion about the Great Polar Ghost. Don't go dragging silly fiction into this. ;)



An opening to the Hollow Earth. OK nuff said movin on.;)
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Quoting Grothar:


Don't be so exegetic.

I'm inexorable.
And exhausted.
goodnight.
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GULF OF MEXICO...
SEVERAL AREAS OF CONVECTION ARE KEEPING THE WEATHER ACROSS THE GULF UNSETTLED THIS EVENING....SHORT RANGE COMPUTER MODELS SUGGEST THE WEATHER ACROSS THE GULF WILL REMAIN UNSTABLE DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

The GOM is rockin' and rollin' tonight.
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Dr. Masters mentioned something about models showing some non tropical development off the East Coast. Can someone show me where this is/a model. Thanks!
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Quoting Chicklit:

Hey, that's not a 'real' word!


Don't be so exegetic.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Some Caribbean action towards the end of the 18z GFS run:





Reminds me a bit of a Wilma-type storm track. A lot weaker. Anyway, it is just a computer model. If computer models weeks out were right, Issac would have washed me to sea on a couple of runs, and Leslie would have come a week later!
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I hope the CATL WAVE will finally bring decent rain to the NE Caribbean
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6455
Cuba too, it would seem.

Quoting MTWX:


Looks like historically, if you live on the Florida Panhandle, if a Storm reaches Cat 5 at some point in its life... you are safe from it hitting you!! ;)
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Quoting PRweathercenter:
I see it too, It's an area of low pressure associated with a tropical wave, if it breaks free form the ITCZ it might develop more, I would keep a close eye on this as it enters the Caribbean Sea

Dave



CATL blob?
A TROPICAL WAVE AXIS IS ANALYZED FROM 15N43W ALONG A 1012 MB LOW LEVEL CENTER NEAR 10N41W TO 7N38W MOVING W 10-15 KT. THIS SYSTEM IS EMBEDDED IN A SURGE OF MODERATE MOISTURE VALUES ON TOTAL PRECIPITABLE WATER IMAGERY. THIS SYSTEM IS ALSO EMBEDDED IN DRY SAHARAN AIR ALOFT LIMITING THE CONVECTIVE ACTIVITY NEAR THE CENTER. ONLY A SMALL AREA OF SCATTERED WEAK CONVECTION IS N OF THE LOW LEVEL CENTER FROM 11N-15N BETWEEN 40W-45W.


It's heading into some shear if you're talking about the area 10N 40-somethingW
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537. MTWX
Quoting hydrus:
Track map of all Category 5 hurricanes in the North Atlantic Basin since 1851.. The points show the location of the storm at 6-hour intervals. The color represents the storm's maximum sustained wind speeds as classified in the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.


Looks like historically, if you live on the Florida Panhandle, if a Storm reaches Cat 5 at some point in its life... you are safe from it hitting you!! ;)
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1393
Quoting Grothar:
Image of a vituperated blob.




Hey, that's not a 'real' word!
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Quoting Grothar:
The FIM model brings another strong wave into the Atlantic and does the Fujiwhara with Nadine, slinging her back west. I am going to follow this one carefully.

I saw it first.








You seen nothing 1st
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Quoting MadinBoy:
There is something growing on the 10N 40W ....
I see it too, It's an area of low pressure associated with a tropical wave, if it breaks free form the ITCZ it might develop more, I would keep a close eye on this as it enters the Caribbean Sea

Dave
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Track map of all Category 5 hurricanes in the North Atlantic Basin since 1851.. The points show the location of the storm at 6-hour intervals. The color represents the storm's maximum sustained wind speeds as classified in the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.
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Quoting TomballTXPride:
I hope this doesn't affect our climate. These things have been known to put massive, enormous amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere in a matter of weeks...



Volcanoes put out less than 1% of human greenhouse gas emissions. Barring something of the scale of the Deccan Traps, this will not substantially affect our climate in a warming direction. Sulfur dioxide emissions may lead to a short-term cooling effect, although due to the relatively small scale of the eruption this is unlikely.

It's common in the denier community to claim that volcanoes have a substantial warming signal, but that just flat out isn't the case.
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Quoting Gearsts:
GFS has a strong wave taunting us and never reaching PR?153,228hours


Regarding the east conus setup, that model is on drugs. There's no way that trough over the Great Lakes will magically run away due northward with such a Greenland block setting up...It's an outlier!
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
It's Christmas time And it's only September 13th! lol


Ever seen THX 1138?

"Buy more, buy more"
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Quoting TomballTXPride:
I hope this doesn't affect our climate. These things have been known to put massive, enormous amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere in a matter of weeks...

They have been effecting our climate since the beginning of time....why would it be different now? Because of Gore...lol
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
It's Christmas time And it's only September 13th! lol
Oh don't do that you'll be seen as an enemy because you believe in a "higher person" and celebrate the holiday...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17810
Quoting MTWX:


NexSat NW Pacific

Also looking like more of a threat to Japan instead of Korea IMO...

I agree, it's been moving N/NNE for a while, definitely more than a wobble.
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Nadine's not really that impressive a storm. Microwave indicates very little in the way of an eye or eyewall:

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Quoting Grothar:


Wearing a red suit?
Come on now, I'm trying to have a serious discussion about the Great Polar Ghost. Don't go dragging silly fiction into this. ;)
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It's Christmas time And it's only September 13th! lol
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523. MTWX
Quoting Unfriendly:
anyone got a page of animated sat imagery of sanba?


NexSat NW Pacific

Also looking like more of a threat to Japan instead of Korea IMO...
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1393
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:

I couldn't care less about Sanba.
Well Samba is interesting thing to look and analyze ,not uncommon in that part of the world to get Cat.5 every other year; but only a concern for those places,, has nothing to do with us here in the western hemisphere...and we still in the peak of hurricane season so I'm focus in the atlantic...
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Maybe if we have a huge volcano eruption that will cause global cooling and put an end to G.W.Lol.Maybe the arctic and other cool places on earth can recover.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17810
There is something growing on the 10N 40W ....
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Quoting BigTuna:

Wow that's a fascinating view. And it confirms my long-held belief that there's a giant ghost hovering over the north pole.


Wearing a red suit?
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Quoting TomballTXPride:
I hope this doesn't affect our climate. These things have been known to put massive, enormous amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere in a matter of weeks...


You might be thinking of sulfur dioxide.
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The FIM model brings another strong wave into the Atlantic and does the Fujiwhara with Nadine, slinging her back west. I am going to follow this one carefully.

I saw it first.




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Quoting BigTuna:

Wow that's a fascinating view. And it confirms my long-held belief that there's a giant ghost hovering over the north pole.



here's an even better view




is there any thing else you want to say
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Looking like Sanba has started its EWRC. The storm has likely peaked.

Probably peaked, still a good looking storm. Why aren't you in chat, you suddenly left us?
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Looking like Sanba has started its EWRC. The storm has likely peaked.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
Quoting TomballTXPride:
The big, big picture

Wow that's a fascinating view. And it confirms my long-held belief that there's a giant ghost hovering over the north pole.
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Image of a vituperated blob.



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00z Best Track for 91E.

EP, 91, 2012091400, , BEST, 0, 149N, 1182W, 30, 1008, LO
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14892
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:

I couldn't care less about Sanba.
Oh don't say that.You'll be seen as heartless.Lol.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17810
Quoting washingtonian115:
Nadine is the forgotten child...I'll come back when Sanba is out of the picture.

I couldn't care less about Sanba.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Nadine remains at 60kts.

AL, 14, 2012091400, , BEST, 0, 244N, 534W, 60, 989, TS

Pressure 989mb
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Nadine is the forgotten child...I'll come back when Sanba is out of the picture.

That's cool but I don't care.

And before people jump on my case I care about the people in the storms path.But for the storm is self I don't care about.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17810
ATCF has Nadine still at 70mph but the pressure drops 1mb.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Nadine remains at 60kts.

AL, 14, 2012091400, , BEST, 0, 244N, 534W, 60, 989, TS
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14892
Looks more normal for September?

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Quoting TomballTXPride:
I hope this doesn't effect our climate. These things have been known to put more CO2 in the atmosphere than anything else...
Well, anything else but us humans, perhaps. Did you know it would take the equivalent of a Mt. Pinatubo-sized eruption every 12 hours every day of the year to pump as much CO2 into the air as we humans do annually? And the ongoing event in Guatemala is nowhere near the size of even a single Pinatubo.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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