DATE: July 31, 2018
SNIP: July has been one for extreme heat around the world, but every locale pales in comparison to what’s going on at Death Valley in California. Already one of the hottest places on the Earth, the heat has gone into overdrive this July. Death Valley is in line to set a record for the hottest month ever recorded on Earth.
Through the first 30 days of July, the average temperature there has been 108 degrees Fahrenheit. The forecast on Tuesday—the last day of the month—calls for a high of 120 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 92 degrees Fahrenheit. If that holds, Death Valley will end July with an average temperature of 107.94 degrees Fahrenheit and a place in the history books for the hottest month reliably recorded anywhere (pending official review of course). It will take the spot of… Death Valley, which set the record last year with a July average of 107.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hell will basically have to freeze over to keep the site from beating its previous world record.
July has been a month of wild heat waves that have engulfed the high Arctic, Japan, North Africa, and much of Europe. Scientists have already shown that climate change made the European heat wave more likely, and it wouldn’t be surprising in the least that the other heat waves are also linked to global warming. Rising background temperatures can amplify heat waves’ intensity and make them more common.
The atmospheric setup has also helped bake in July heat in some locations, including Death Valley. The jet stream has gone wild this month, resembling a series of waves. The troughs in the waves allow cooler air from the north to dip down, but the ridges allow hot air to build up.