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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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Sorry I commented on your post...... You are obviously not a person I want to communicate with.Sorry

Whatever.
You act like what i said was bad.
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Sanba is hideous compared to Isabel.Nuff said.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
1. SUPER TYPHOON 17W (SANBA) WARNING NR 013
01 ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE IN NORTHWESTPAC
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS BASED ON ONE-MINUTE AVERAGE
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
---
WARNING POSITION:
131800Z --- NEAR 17.2N 129.7E
MOVEMENT PAST SIX HOURS - 005 DEGREES AT 09 KTS
POSITION ACCURATE TO WITHIN 020 NM
POSITION BASED ON EYE FIXED BY SATELLITE
PRESENT WIND DISTRIBUTION:
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 150 KT, GUSTS 180 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
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Latest Nadine microwave... she's struggling.

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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:

What's so bad about it?
Sorry I commented on your post...... You are obviously not a person I want to communicate with.Sorry
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I wasn't insinuating that this is an annular cyclone right now, but that it is more than likely that it will become one within 12-24 hours.

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Quoting TomTaylor:
Sanba is not annular. Banding is clearly present


I was just about to point out the same thing, there is far too much banding under there for it to be annular:



This is what an annular hurricane would look like under the hood:

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Latest CPC map, still on track for way above average temperatures out west and way below average for many others:

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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
THIS

What's so bad about it?
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it not 90 or 95!!:)
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
It's south Florida....You were expecting what?
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SHREVEPORT LA
322 PM CDT THU SEP 13 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SHREVEPORT HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTH CENTRAL GREGG COUNTY IN NORTHEAST TEXAS...
NORTHWESTERN HARRISON COUNTY IN NORTHEAST TEXAS...
EAST CENTRAL UPSHUR COUNTY IN NORTHEAST TEXAS...

* UNTIL 400 PM CDT

* AT 317 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED 7 MILES
SOUTHWEST OF HARLETON...OR 8 MILES NORTHEAST OF LONGVIEW...AND
MOVING NORTHEAST AT 10 MPH.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL OTHERWISE REMAIN OVER MAINLY RURAL
AREAS OF THE INDICATED COUNTY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH...PREPARE
IMMEDIATELY FOR DAMAGING WINDS...DESTRUCTIVE HAIL...AND DEADLY CLOUD
TO GROUND LIGHTNING. PEOPLE OUTSIDE SHOULD MOVE TO A SHELTER...
PREFERABLY INSIDE A STRONG BUILDING BUT AWAY FROM WINDOWS.
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Latest microwave imagery shows the band has wrapped further around the eyewall. As I suspect, this looks like it is initiating the eyewall replacement cycle and will likely form the replacing eyewall.

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lol this one

Quoting ncstorm:
anyone see the face in that image..LOL..

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Quoting washingtonian115:
Nice wave off Africa.But since every one is up Sanba's cat I have no one to discuss it with.

I personally don't care about what happens in the WPAC.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
It is 85 in WPB!!:)
It's south Florida....You were expecting what?
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anyone see the face in that image..LOL..

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Quoting TomTaylor:
That is true. And those winds probably help, as it looked like the depression was surrounded by mountains. Winds coming off the mountains into the depression (downsloping winds) cause the air to warm by compression.

All we need is station out there and someone to sit out there all day and monitor it lol


Hottest I have ever been in my life was in the Danakil Depression (Ethiopia/Eritrea) in 1968 and, the coldest was Bardufoss ( N Norway - inland from Tromso) during Winter Warefare training on 3 successive years - in February - and Ohhhhh those Katabatic (??) winds.
Both areas awesomely beautiful in their own ways - but NOT to be repeated - hence I am in Cayman :-)
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
Yeah sure, Sanba's incredible. Now only if Nadine does that...
THIS
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It is 85 in WPB!!:)
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Atlantic:



Pacific:

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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


JTWC.

SUPER TYPHOON (STY) 17W (SANBA), LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 600 NM
SOUTH OF KADENA, OKINAWA, JAPAN, HAS TRACKED NORTHWARD AT 07 KNOTS
OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS. ANIMATED ENHANCED INFRARED SATELLITE
IMAGERY (EIR) REVEALS A PERSISTENT 20 NM EYE COMPLETELY ENCIRCLED
BY A THICK RING OF DEEP CONVECTION WITH NO BANDING OUTSIDE OF THIS
RING, CONSISTENT WITH AN ANNULAR TYPHOON. A 130903Z SSMIS 91 GHZ
MICROWAVE IMAGE SUPPORTS THIS BY SHOWING A VERY SYMMETRIC SYSTEM
WITH AN EYE SURROUNDED BY DEEP CONVECTION AND SOME DISPLACED
CONVECTION IN THE SOUTHERN SEMI-CIRCLE. THE CURRENT POSITION IS
BASED ON THE EYE IN THE AFOREMENTIONED IMAGERY WITH HIGH
CONFIDENCE. ANIMATED WATER VAPOR IMAGERY CONTINUES TO INDICATE
EXCELLENT OUTFLOW WITH A POINT SOURCE ANTICYCLONE LOCATED OVER THE
SYSTEM. FURTHER UPPER LEVEL ANALYSIS REVEALS THAT LOW (05 TO 10
KNOTS) VERTICAL WIND SHEAR CONTINUES TO ACT UPON THE SYSTEM.
INITIAL INTENSITY OF 135 KNOTS IS BASED ON AVERAGE OF DVORAK
ESTIMATES OF 127 TO 140 KNOTS FROM KNES, RJTD AND PGTW,
RESPECTIVELY. STY 17W SHOULD MAINTAIN INTENSITY AS IT HAS BECOME
ANNULAR FOR THE NEXT 24 TO 36 HOURS AND THE UPPER LEVEL ENVIRONMENT
REMAINS FAVORABLE. SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES ARE ALSO FORECASTED TO
REMAIN FAVORABLE (29-30 DEGREES CELSIUS) AS STY 17W STEERS NORTH.
I'm well aware of their prognostic reasoning issued several hours ago. Microwave imagery tells it as it is.

Here's an image from 2hrs ago



And here's that same spiral band 15hrs ago. As you can see it has been getting wrapped closer





In MY opinion, this does not meet the definition of an annular storm. But, just looking at infrared imagery, it does give the impression of one, as the JTWC has noted.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Oh Please don't tell me I saw that

Saw what?
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Nice wave off Africa.But since every one is up Sanba's cat I have no one to discuss it with.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
New track:

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From Nea at 276:-
"Speaking of: the Los Angeles Times is out with a great article speculating that the lost Arctic sea ice may very well have some nasty surprises for us: Record loss of Arctic ice may trigger extreme weather2

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la -sci-sn-arctic-ice-melt-20120912,0,5522231.story?t rack=rss

I read that link from Post 276 and you cant help but think that one of the lines which says:-

" James Overland, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said forecasts failed to account for the physics of lost solar energy reflection and warming ocean water."

The words "failed to take into account!" will shortly begin to take on a new significance when the excuses for the melt problem start to surface.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Sanba is not annular. Banding is clearly present



?

JTWC.

SUPER TYPHOON (STY) 17W (SANBA), LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 600 NM
SOUTH OF KADENA, OKINAWA, JAPAN, HAS TRACKED NORTHWARD AT 07 KNOTS
OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS. ANIMATED ENHANCED INFRARED SATELLITE
IMAGERY (EIR) REVEALS A PERSISTENT 20 NM EYE COMPLETELY ENCIRCLED
BY A THICK RING OF DEEP CONVECTION WITH NO BANDING OUTSIDE OF THIS
RING, CONSISTENT WITH AN ANNULAR TYPHOON. A 130903Z SSMIS 91 GHZ
MICROWAVE IMAGE SUPPORTS THIS BY SHOWING A VERY SYMMETRIC SYSTEM
WITH AN EYE SURROUNDED BY DEEP CONVECTION AND SOME DISPLACED
CONVECTION IN THE SOUTHERN SEMI-CIRCLE. THE CURRENT POSITION IS
BASED ON THE EYE IN THE AFOREMENTIONED IMAGERY WITH HIGH
CONFIDENCE. ANIMATED WATER VAPOR IMAGERY CONTINUES TO INDICATE
EXCELLENT OUTFLOW WITH A POINT SOURCE ANTICYCLONE LOCATED OVER THE
SYSTEM. FURTHER UPPER LEVEL ANALYSIS REVEALS THAT LOW (05 TO 10
KNOTS) VERTICAL WIND SHEAR CONTINUES TO ACT UPON THE SYSTEM.
INITIAL INTENSITY OF 135 KNOTS IS BASED ON AVERAGE OF DVORAK
ESTIMATES OF 127 TO 140 KNOTS FROM KNES, RJTD AND PGTW,
RESPECTIVELY. STY 17W SHOULD MAINTAIN INTENSITY AS IT HAS BECOME
ANNULAR FOR THE NEXT 24 TO 36 HOURS AND THE UPPER LEVEL ENVIRONMENT
REMAINS FAVORABLE. SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES ARE ALSO FORECASTED TO
REMAIN FAVORABLE (29-30 DEGREES CELSIUS) AS STY 17W STEERS NORTH.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Sanba is not annular. Banding is clearly present


Take a look at the current pass and then take a look at some from 12-24 hours ago. It may not be totally annular right now, but it is demonstrating some characteristics, and continues to be well on its to becoming it.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32024
Looks like a Sunday morning local (Saturday afternoon Eastern) Cat 4 direct hit on Okinawa and neighboring islands. Perhaps Cat 3 or even slightly weaker by the time it gets to volcanic Jeju Island, South Korea, which it may pass slightly to the east.
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
Yeah sure, Sanba's incredible. Now only if Nadine does that...
Oh Please don't tell me I saw that
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This was just put up on the JTWC site:

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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Already up to 175 mph

I think we'll see a 180-190mph peak as this becomes annular.

20120913.1901.mtsat2.x.ir1km.17WSANBA.150kts-911m b-172N-1297E.100pc.jpg

Sanba is not annular. Banding is clearly present

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Quoting weatherbro:


The first cat 5 since magi, dang!


TAWX was slightly off. Strongest storm since Megi (2010), first category 5 this year and first since Nanmandol in 2011 (my avatar).
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Yeah sure, Sanba's incredible. Now only if Nadine does that...
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Quoting DocNDswamp:


Hey Tom,

Agree on the awful part, won't complain over Louisiana's summer heat / humidity compared to Lake Assal's misery index... However doubt Red Sea offers very much maritime cooling influence to override other factors. While nothing resembling an official station is there, visitors to the area have recorded high temps near the recognized world record range of 134-136F. Also consider as the Wiki reference mentions, "During the summer season, the dry hot winds blow in two directions namely, the Sabo winds from the south-west and the Khamsin winds from the north-west."
But, until some organization records reliable observations, it's all open to reasonable speculation.
That is true. And those winds probably help, as it looked like the depression was surrounded by mountains. Winds coming off the mountains into the depression (downsloping winds) cause the air to warm by compression.

All we need is station out there and someone to sit out there all day and monitor it lol
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Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32024
Already up to 175 mph

I think we'll see a 180-190mph peak as this becomes annular.

20120913.1901.mtsat2.x.ir1km.17WSANBA.150kts-911m b-172N-1297E.100pc.jpg



Absolutely incredible system.

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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
JTWC has officially listed Sanba as a monster Cat 5 with 150kt winds, forecast to strengthen slightly to 155kts. Absolutely incredible. Strongest in years.



Have this gut feeling - sadly - that Sanba is going to be an "expensive" storm
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Despite being under about 10 knots of wind shear, Sanbu is atop Ocean Heat Content values in excess of 175 kJ/cm-2. This is why it has been able to become the strongest typhoon since Megi in 2010.



The first cat 5 since magi, dang!
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JTWC has officially listed Sanba as a monster Cat 5 with 150kt winds, forecast to strengthen slightly to 155kts. Absolutely incredible. Strongest in years.

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Quoting wxchaser97:

Yup, I dont think there will be too much more strengthening but this a really good looking storm.
Hopefully the natural enemy forces of T.C's come in and do bad things to Sanba once he/she tries to tip toe up to Japan and Korea.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
Quoting hydrus:
Yes...And I thought Gilbert was impressive.
Impressive, but oh so scary
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What happened with Nadine's floater, I just got back home?
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Despite being under about 10 knots of wind shear, Sanbu is atop Ocean Heat Content values in excess of 175 kJ/cm-2. This is why it has been able to become the strongest typhoon since Megi in 2010.


Yup, I dont think there will be too much more strengthening but this a really good looking storm.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
Despite being under about 10 knots of wind shear, Sanbu is atop Ocean Heat Content values in excess of 175 kJ/cm-2. This is why it has been able to become the strongest cyclone on Earth since Nanmadol last year. But Sanbu has surpassed that storm by this point.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32024
Quoting RitaEvac:
With all the damn development going up everywhere to keep this "bubble fake economy" ticking, gotta keep building and using up every piece of land. I'm getting concerned with the heat island effects that are taking hold and expanding due to development. This causes vegetation more stress and need for more water for survival which then puts strain on water supply's. Less cooling at night which is why there are more record high lows ongoing and increasing. And when it rains too much with all this development you're gonna flood due to impervious features as far as the eye can see. Man is bringing about his own demise and I believe we are well on our way.
I agree.When it comes to condos here in D.C the city is absolutely ridiculous/greedy.A lot that could have been use as a local garden or park is used to build more unnecessary condos.The mayor even acknowledges that they keep building more.Real pathetic...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
SPECIAL WPAC UPDATE:
________________________

ST SANBA


bigger pic here...
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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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