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Death Valley celebrates the heat

DEATH VALLEY, Calif.—Death Valley National Park, in cooperation with the National Weather Service (NWS), will host a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the hottest recorded temperature in the world, measured at 134 degrees on July 10, 1913 at Greenland Ranch (now Furnace Creek Ranch) in Death Valley, CA.

The event will feature meteorologists from NWS as well as National Park Service Rangers who will discuss topics such as the inquiry into the record measurements (recently changed from El Azizia, Libya to Death Valley), why Death Valley is so hot, and everyday tips to survive in the hot climate.

The event will take place in the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley National Park. A press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. which will be followed by a series of discussions that will address the climate and temperature extremes of Death Valley. The event will conclude by accompanying Death Valley Rangers to the current weather station to read the daily temperature—a ritual that has occurred daily since 1911.

The National Park Service in Death Valley has partnered with the National Weather Service in support of the Cooperative Observer Program since 1961. This program provides important long-term climate data that is used by many to perform scientific studies and provide data for ever improving weather and climate models. The Death Valley station is particularly important due to the extreme weather conditions and remote location.

According to Death Valley National Park Superintendent Kathy Billings, “One million visitors each year know that Death Valley has more to offer than heat. It is a record holder on many fronts as the largest national park and wilderness outside of Alaska, and the lowest elevation and driest climate in North America. It offers some of the most unique landscapes in the National Park System and is home to thousands of plant and animal species who have adapted to this harsh environment.”

The National Park Service cautions all visitors to take safety measures while visiting the park in extreme temperatures such as drinking plenty of water and limiting your time outdoors.

A June record of 129 degrees was recorded on June 30, 2013, exceeding the previous June record of 128 degrees in 1994.

For more information and a schedule of events, go to http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/vef/deathvalley/.

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