Death Valley Sets Record Temperatures As California Heat Wave Burns On

on July 01 2013 11:21 PM
Death Valley
Zabriskie Point at sunrise in Death Valley Wikimedia Commons

Temperatures in Death Valley, Calif., continued to swelter on Monday, one day after setting a record high for the month of June. According to the National Weather Service, Death Valley set records with high of 129.9 degrees on Sunday. The heat wave continued throughout Monday with temperatures as high as 126 degrees. 

The Los Angeles Times notes that Sunday’s high of 129 degrees was the highest temperature ever recorded in June in the United States. Last year, Death Valley set a similar record of 128 degrees in June. Death Valley park officials say such numbers don’t bode well for the rest of the year. 

"It’s early for us to have these temperatures in June," park spokeswoman Cheryl Chipman told the Los Angeles Times. "We hope getting to 129 this early in the season is not foreboding."

Despite the extreme heat, Death Valley National Park continues to draw visitors. The desert park is known as the hottest, driest and lowest spot in the United States, and many tourists are attracted to the park’s extreme nature. National park staff say their top priority is keeping park visitors safe in the heat.

"Our main concern is safety," ranger Carole Wendler told the LA Times. "We're advising visitors that this is not the weekend to go hiking."

Other areas of California continued to suffer sweltering temperatures as well, as Long Angeles-area municipalities sustained temperatures in the mid 90s on Monday. Further inland, cities like Riverside and Palm Springs experienced temperatures in the 100s as well. Fortunately for California residents, temperatures are expected to fall on Tuesday and Wednesday. Other areas in the Southwest have also experienced extremely high temperatures, in part leading to sweeping wildfires like the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona, which killed 19 firefighters Sunday night.

In addition to Sunday’s record for highest temperature in June, Death Valley also holds the world record for the highest temperature ever recorded on planet Earth: 134 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded on July 10, 1913. The Death Valley National Park plans to hold a 100th anniversary celebration on July 10 to note the record.

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