Does the world have a new, all-time record high temperature to celebrate?
Freelance meteorologist Kevin Martin, publisher of TheWeatherSpace.com, says we do, and that temperature is 135.5 degrees. That's his reading yesterday from Badwater Basin in Death Valley. But it will probably go down as an unofficial record:
The National Weather Service, at least, won't recognize it. In fact Chris Stachelski of the NWS in Las Vegas says it wouldn't even recognize its own work if it had sent a team to such a remote location.
The feds apparently only recognize comparable temperatures from one of their standing weather stations. In this case, the ranger station at Furnace Creek, 17 miles from Badwater Basin, holds on to the all-time highest temp ever recorded on earth, 134 degrees in July of 1913.
“The only thing that counts is what we have officially,” Stachelski told the Weekly. “They're not going to count someone on the street with a thermometer.”
NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] does not have sensors where I believe is the hottest place in Death Valley. Badwater Basin has cliffs to the south and east, placing the area in a small nook in the mountain range towering over it. On June 30, 2013 I recorded 135.5F degrees here.
— NWS Las Vegas (@NWSVegas) July 1, 2013
Meanwhile the weather service says it did record a record all-time high for the month of June and for the date of June 30 — 129 at Furnace Creek.
(Photos of people posing next to a 131 temperature readout at Furnace Creek yesterday showed an unofficial temp, Stachelski told us: They were standing near an uncalibrated park service thermometer intended for tourists).
A cooling trend is in store with 128 expected today and a downright cool 126 on-tap by Wendesday, Stachelski said.