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 wxchaser97:
ATCF says we got hurricane Nadine with 75mph winds.
AL, 14, 2012091500, , BEST, 0, 296N, 529W, 65, 986, HU, 64, NEQ, 30, 20, 0, 0, 1013, 240, 20, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, NADINE, D,


Hurricane NADINE.

14-8-1.

Realistically it is probably more like 80mph due to the SAB/ADT combo, unless the TAFB is below hurricane status.
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Quoting StormDrain:
LOL. Taxes? Where in Taxes?

?
From the 8 pm TWD...

I don't see a special advisory. Atcf showing something? Nadine probably shoulda woulda coulda been a 'cane earlier, imho, but I don't know what official source you mean. Maybe you're just trying to see if anyone's payin' attention.

ATCF updated showing the storm as a hurricane.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31541
1195. Grothar
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Did you hang the phone up when you were finished?



Capital "T"
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25434
1194. Grothar
Quoting allancalderini:
women names had been pretty weak this year. I would say maybe Nadine or if we have Patty one of them could shut me, but until now I am not surprised.


What about Maxine and LaVerne
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25434
Quoting StormDrain:
LOL. Taxes? Where in Taxes?

?
From the 8 pm TWD...

I don't see a special advisory. Atcf showing something? Nadine probably shoulda woulda coulda been a 'cane earlier, imho, but I don't know what official source you mean. Maybe you're just trying to see if anyone's payin' attention.
No.Why won't you go read.1156 1172 and 1173 are proof that Nadine is now a hurricane.Stop starting stuff.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16437
Quoting Neapolitan:
Looks like she made it:

AL, 14, 2012091500, , BEST, 0, 296N, 529W, 65, 986, HU, 64, NEQ, 30, 20, 0, 0, 1013, 240, 20, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, NADINE, D,
Duh. NVMD.
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Quoting Grothar:
I don't know how you people got onto telling bar jokes. I started telling a story about two cowboys walking into a bar because they thought there spotted a tornado. I was just interrupted in the middle by a phone call. You people have to stay on topic.


Did you hang the phone up when you were finished?

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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


The Marx Brothers are still alive somewhere. I can sense it. I think one of them still lives in Dollars, Taxes.
LOL. Taxes? Where in Taxes?

Quoting washingtonian115:
Well looks like after days on end of flirting with hurricane status Nadine finally made it.FINALLY.
?
From the 8 pm TWD...

I don't see a special advisory. Atcf showing something? Nadine probably shoulda woulda coulda been a 'cane earlier, imho, but I don't know what official source you mean. Maybe you're just trying to see if anyone's payin' attention.
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Quoting spathy:


No but close.
Its the largest Avocado Tree I have ever seen.
I talked to the owner about putting it in the heritage tree list and I was looked at .... Um... Like I was from another planet.

The diameter of that tree is easily 6' plus.
I think the tree annoys him because it drops the fairly heavy fruit on the bar and the pool loungers.
I got the feeling that he wanted to remove the tree.


I considered avocado, but it seemed just to darn big. We had one you just didn't walk under when the fruit was ripe, they could knock you out. I HATE payin big bucks for avocado pears. Momma sometimes called them alligator pears

I ran across this earlier tonight while I was looking through the piece before sending it. It seems this wordage could be the root of the word avocado.

LIFE AND ADVENTURES IN SOUTH FLORIDA BY ANDREW P. CANOVA, OF ST. PETERSBURG, ASSISTED BY L. S. PERKINS,
this work covers 1855-1885 - page 149

The Agua Cate, or alligator pear, is not a pear at all; it has one large seed in the center, weighing two ounces, in a good specimen. I have seen agua cates (pronounced ah-guah cahta) weighing two pounds each.
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Quoting allancalderini:
women names had been pretty weak this year. I would say maybe Nadine or if we have Patty one of them could shut me, but until now I am not surprised.
This is year of the MEN!.Just like 2007.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16437
1186. Grothar
I don't know how you people got onto telling bar jokes. I started telling a story about two cowboys walking into a bar because they thought there spotted a tornado. I was just interrupted in the middle by a phone call. You people have to stay on topic.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25434
1185. viman
Do we have 92L as yet???? Hope we get some rain, the plants are crying out, the cisterns are bawling, and all of Gods littlest creatures are awaiting his bounty... It's been a long and hot, hot, very hot, few months... Did I mention that it has been hot...
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Quoting StormDrain:
Dwain. StowmDwain LMAO


The Marx Brothers are still alive somewhere. I can sense it. I think one of them still lives in Dollars, Taxes.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Well looks like after days on end of flirting with hurricane status Nadine finally made it.FINALLY.
women names had been pretty weak this year. I would say maybe Nadine or if we have Patty one of them could shut me, but until now I am not surprised.
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1182. guygee
If folks are weary of discussing global warming, and find the current weather boring, how about straying back into the past, say, when the entire Earth was covered with glaciers? The story of Snowball Earth has only been pieced together within our lifetimes and makes for some fascinating reading. How did we get there, and how did we get out? What evidence do we have that it even happened? An online source with some good hard-core science can be found here: Snowball Earth.
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There is a vary powerful. Wind storm on the way for AK
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Who's there?
Dwain. StowmDwain LMAO
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Quoting EnufStorms:
spathy,
Thanks for responding, Project is Air Pollution and Air Quality, He's doing global warming, I would imagine pros & cons...? What I do know is he needs an A on this project...
Thx again


heres the link to the climate change blog index here. Lots of good stuff
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Quoting StormDrain:
Knock knock.


Who's there?
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:
Hey! No smirks! It's Friday night and I am telling jokes on a family orientated blog! .... What did you expect?
Knock knock.
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Well looks like after days on end of flirting with hurricane status Nadine finally made it.FINALLY.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16437
Windsat

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1173. SLU
14/2345 UTC 29.7N 53.3W T4.5/4.5 NADINE
14/1745 UTC 28.6N 53.4W T3.5/3.5 NADINE

Fairly big jump. Should be 85mph based on that.
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ATCF says we got hurricane Nadine with 75mph winds.
AL, 14, 2012091500, , BEST, 0, 296N, 529W, 65, 986, HU, 64, NEQ, 30, 20, 0, 0, 1013, 240, 20, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, NADINE, D,
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1170. SLU
Quoting Neapolitan:
Looks like she made it:

AL, 14, 2012091500, , BEST, 0, 296N, 529W, 65, 986, HU, 64, NEQ, 30, 20, 0, 0, 1013, 240, 20, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, NADINE, D,


14-8-1 ....

.... including 4 straight hurricanes on Sept. 14th. Very decent for an "el nino" season.
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1169. Skyepony (Mod)
EnufStorms~ Look up in the upper right under climate, there is a lot of great climate change info, videos & Dr Masters' climate blogs.
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Quoting spathy:


Hi Wash. I heard you had some nice 50s and 80s weather up there this week. Sept can be a great month up there weather-wise.
Yep :).Been really spoiled.Now the 90 and 100 degree heat with high humidity is just a distant memory.No 90's will be returning for a while as cooler air is suppose to be rushing in again.I hated this summer and last.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16437
spathy,
Thanks for responding, Project is Air Pollution and Air Quality, He's doing global warming, I would imagine pros & cons...? What I do know is he needs an A on this project...
Thx again
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Quoting spathy:

Hi RivGuy


[waves] say Spathy, is that an old mango tree you are under?
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Hey! No smirks! It's Friday night and I am telling jokes on a family orientated blog! .... What did you expect?
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11N 48W ......DMAX ON
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1162. ARiot
Quoting EnufStorms:
Long time lurker. Love this website.. Question, Plz?? My high school sophmore child, has a college course Science class this year, he has to do a project on global warming..I was wondering if any of you have a few favorite sites or links to share?? Thanks ...


A decent site with very good citations and in many cases varied levels of articles based on ratings (basic, intermediate, advanced) is www.skepticalscience.com

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Quoting spathy:
Dwain who?


Dwain the bathtub! I'm dwowning!
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Looks like she made it:

AL, 14, 2012091500, , BEST, 0, 296N, 529W, 65, 986, HU, 64, NEQ, 30, 20, 0, 0, 1013, 240, 20, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, NADINE, D,

May be conservative. Both SAB and UW-CIMSS are currently at T4.5/75 knots.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31541
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Who's there?


Dwain
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Looks like she made it:

AL, 14, 2012091500, , BEST, 0, 296N, 529W, 65, 986, HU, 64, NEQ, 30, 20, 0, 0, 1013, 240, 20, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, NADINE, D,
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Man, don't any of you quit your day jobs...

Evenin' folks!
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I like your user name!.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16437
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:
Knock Knock joke -


Knock, knock

Who's there?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31541
Quoting Grothar:
The blog is slow tonight.

So....two cowboys walk into a bar...........


Ya figger one of em woulda seen it...
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Long time lurker. Love this website.. Question, Plz?? My high school sophmore child, has a college course Science class this year, he has to do a project on global warming..I was wondering if any of you have a few favorite sites or links to share?? Thanks ...
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Knock Knock joke -


Knock, knock
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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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