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Death Valley Breaks Record for Hottest Month Ever in the US

Badwater Basin in the Death Valley National Park.
Badwater Basin in the Death Valley National Park. (Image credit: Daniel Kirchner/Shutterstock)

July temperatures in Death Valley have incinerated previous records.

With an average daily high temperature of 107.4 degrees Fahrenheit (41.9 degrees Celsius), July was the valley's hottest month on record, blazing through the former record of 107.2 degrees F (41.8 degrees C) set in 1917, the National Weather Service's Las Vegas Forecast Office (NWS Las Vegas) wrote Aug. 2 in a tweet.

Temperatures in Death Valley in July blazed into the record books not only as the hottest month in the desert valley in eastern California but also as the hottest month ever recorded in the United States, according to NWS Las Vegas. [Hell on Earth: Image Tour of Death Valley

During July, temperatures were at their lowest at around 5 a.m. local time, averaging about 95 degrees F (35 degrees C), Death Valley National Park representatives wrote in a Facebook post on Aug. 3.

"This is an extreme place to live and visit in the summer, especially this past month," they said.

A photo shared in the post showed a National Park Service (NPS) official posing next to the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in the park, leaning against a sign displaying a local temperature of 124 degrees F (51.1 degrees C).

Death Valley's highest temperatures during July were 127 degrees F (52.8 degrees C) on July 7; 126 degrees F (52.2 degrees C) on July 8; and 125 degrees F (51.7 degrees C) on July 31, according to daily temperature reports compiled by the National Weather Service, The Washington Post reported.

A combination of geological factors — including its low elevation and the presence of surrounding mountains that block cooling moisture — trap and fuel the baking heat that develops during summer in Death Valley.

Death Valley holds the record for the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth — 134 degrees F (56.7 degrees C) on July 10, 2013, which was part of a five-day heat wave during which temperatures hovered at 129 degrees F (53.9 degrees C) or more, the NPS reported.

Death Valley isn't the only place where things are heating up — global average temperatures have been on the rise for years. 2016 was the hottest year on record for the third consecutive year, and a forecast for August, September and October 2017 predicts more warmer-than-average temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, according to a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Original article on Live Science.

Mindy Weisberger
Mindy Weisberger is a senior writer for Live Science covering general science topics, especially those relating to brains, bodies, and behaviors in humans and other animals — living and extinct. Mindy studied filmmaking at Columbia University; her videos about dinosaurs, biodiversity, human origins, evolution, and astrophysics appear in the American Museum of Natural History, on YouTube, and in museums and science centers worldwide. Follow Mindy on Twitter.