Death Valley in California is a place of extreme conditions, with its low elevation of 85.5 meters below sea level and minimal rainfall of approximately 120 liters per square meter annually. It is famous for its scorching heat, with a recorded temperature of 56.7 degrees Celsius in 1913, although this measurement is disputed.
Recently, a temperature of 54.4 degrees Celsius was measured, potentially becoming the third-highest recorded temperature worldwide, pending confirmation by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The WMO has officially recognized temperatures of 53.9 degrees Celsius in Kuwait and 53.7 degrees Celsius in Pakistan as the third and fourth highest recorded, respectively.
If validated, the recent Death Valley temperature would be the highest among accurately measured temperatures in recent history. The region’s extreme heat is attributed to the absence of rain due to mountain ranges blocking precipitation.
Other parts of the US, including California and Arizona, are also experiencing extreme temperatures and therefore wildfires. The heat is leading to concerns about power grid stability due to the high usage of air conditions. Another result of the heat is the formation of fire-induced whirlwinds.
The heatwave is expected to persist, causing ongoing challenges for the affected areas.
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