Death Valley could break world heat record

An intense and potentially record-setting ridge of high pressure is building across California and the West, threatening days and perhaps more than a week of a dangerous, life-threatening heat wave.

The worst of the heat will be centered in California’s Central Valley, where as many as 10 days or more of 110-degree heat looms. But just about all of California, stretching into western Oregon and western Nevada, will swelter for an extended period.

The temperature in Death Valley National Park could skyrocket to 130 degrees next week, according to the National Weather Service.

If it does, it will set the record for the hottest temperature ever "reliably measured on earth", Scientific American reports.


The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 134 F (56.67 C) in July 1913 at Furnace Creek, said Randy Ceverny of the World Meteorological Organization, the body recognized as keeper of world records. Temperatures at or above 130 F have only been recorded on Earth a handful of times, mostly in Death Valley, the Associated Press reports. 

Closer to home, temperatures again pushed into the triple-digit range in parts of the Southland Wednesday as a high-pressure system settled over the region, promising to linger through the holiday weekend and well into next week.

FOX Weather and City News Service contributed to this report.