On August 16, Death Valley, a national park in California and Nevada, recorded a preliminary high temperature of 54.4 degrees Celsius! If this is proved to be true, it could be the hottest temperature recorded in the world since 1913!
The National Weather Service in the US reported on the news, and the agency also said that the previous temperature record of over 56 degrees was reported over 100 years ago, also in Death Valley. The agency is warning people who live in eastern California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah to limit the time they spend outside to between 5am and 8am.
This boiling hot temperature comes as a heatwave goes on on the US’s west coast. Temperatures are expected to get even hotter this week.
This heat is the result of a high pressure system that has settled over much of the West Coast in the US. Normally during this time of year, the West and southwestern parts of the country experience the North American monsoon. However, the monsoon hasn’t developed as it normally does so the Death Valley national park is getting hotter because of this high pressure.
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It has been so hot in California that a power plant broke down, causing two days of no power!
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the agency that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere, July was the hottest July on record for seven states along the East Coast.
This extreme weather event is a frightening consequence of the climate crisis and it shows that it is not as far-away as people think. It is happening now and it will continue to impact more people all around the world in various ways- some will experience extreme heat that affects their ability to move around comfortably, while others will be forced to leave their homes as a result of flooding or other extreme weather events. This shows us that we need to move towards a greener future and stop polluting and releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere!