Tourists Bring Fur Coats to Death Valley's Heat

The official temperature of 128 degrees on Sunday didn't even break a record
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2023 12:25 PM CDT
Think It's Hot? It's Worse in Death Valley
A woman poses by a thermometer, Sunday, July 16, 2023, in Death Valley National Park, Calif. The thermometer is not official but is a popular photo spot. Death Valley's brutal temps come amid a blistering stretch that has put roughly one-third of Americans under a heat advisory, watch, or warning.   (AP Photo/John Locher)

Phoenix is breaking heat records all over the place, and Death Valley was set to approach one of its own on Sunday, reports the AP. It didn't quite get there—with the National Weather Service's official temperature clocking in at 128 degrees, while a thermometer that is very popular with heat-tolerant visitors at the aptly named Furnace Creek Visitor Center hit 130 degrees. That didn't deter visitors, in fact possibly encouraged them, to experience the breath-snatching heat—including at least one wearing a fur coat just for sweaty giggles or Christmas cards.

Says longtime visitor William Cadwallader of Las Vegas, which itself registered a balmy 116 degrees on Sunday, "I just want to go to a place, sort of like Mount Everest, to say, you know, you did it." Earth's hottest temperature ever recorded was in Death Valley, but way back in July 1913, at a blistering 134 degrees. The Death Valley National Park averages 116 degrees in July. For those wondering about Phoenix, the city hit 114 degrees on Sunday, the 17th consecutive day of 110 degrees or higher. The record is 18 days, set in June 1974. That record looks ready to fall on Tuesday. (More Death Valley National Park stories.)

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