On This Day In 1913, Death Valley Was 134 Degrees—A Standing World Record
Next time you start to moan about one of Los Angeles' many heat waves, just be glad you weren't in Death Valley on July 10, 1913, when the temperature reached 134 degrees—the standing world record for the hottest air temperature.
According to the National Parks Service, summertime temperatures in Death Valley often exceed 120, even in the shade, with overnight lows dipping into the 90s°F, which, to this hot weather-hater is already unfathomable. But 134?! How?! And without....air conditioning and Frappuccinos, which I assume weren't around in 1913? It wasn't a fluke, either: the NPS also writes that during that week in 1913, five additional consecutive days reached 129° F.
In 2013, CNN covered the 100th anniversary of the 134-day, which attracted 140 people who showed up to "celebrate" the "special" day. What was to celebrate, I do not know.
Sure, now visitors to Death Valley have access to air conditioning, but as it happens this weekend, a "planned power cut" set to repair power lines meant there would be no A/C at resorts and at the visitor's center...and this was a weekend with temperatures reaching 116 degrees.
We'll stick to visiting Death Valley in the spring, when temps are slightly more reasonable, and hospitable to beautiful wildflower blooms, thanks.