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Death Valley Just Had The Hottest July On Record

Photo via Death Valley National Park/Facebook
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Yeah, it's been pretty hot these last couple of weeks, and this "monsoonal moisture" weather pattern (re: high humidity, flash flooding) isn't helping. For those of us without AC at home, this time of year is especially brutal. But for all the comparisons of your apartment to a furnace, just be glad you're not in Death Valley: the national park just broke a century-old heat record in July.

So what does such heat do to the human body? According to National Geographic, at environmental temperatures topping 100-degrees, the body is no longer able to expel internal heat out into the air. Rather, heat from the environment begins flowing into your body. What's more, if the body's temperature reaches 107 degrees, it can cause irreversible organ damage and death.

"The body begins to parcel out where the water should go," Mark Morocco, an emergency medicine professor at UCLA, told National Geographic of the body's functioning in such heat. "There's a contraction of blood flow to the gut, the liver, and the kidneys. People begin to feel really bad." When the kidneys fail, it adds greater stress to the heart to push less blood through the body. Hey, you didn't think they called it Death Valley for nothing, right?

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According to the Los Angeles Times, the average nighttime temperature for July in Death Valley was 95 degrees. Daytime highs? 119.6 degrees. “It looks like there were a couple of days below 115,” Alex Boothe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told the Times.

Death Valley clocked the highest temperature ever recorded at 134 degrees. The record was hit in June of 1913. On June 24 of this year, the park hit a high of 127 degrees.

And the heat is showing no signs of ebbing. Wednesday's high in Death Valley hit 119. And while there's a dropoff for Thursday, it's still expected to hit a high of 102. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the week ahead will stay in the 80s downtown, and will be a few degrees cooler by the beach.