National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


There has been much discussion regarding the Preliminary Record of 130° degrees measured at @DeathValleyNPS on 16 August, 2020. Death Valley recorded a high temperature of 129.9° F at 3:41 PM PDT on Sunday, August 16, 2020. If verified, it will be the hottest official temperature recorded in Death Valley, CA since July of 1913. 


(Pictured above is the Furnace Creek Vistors Center Thermometer from August 16, 2020 which tends to read 2-3 degrees warmer than the official temperature sensor pictured below. Photo Credit: Death Valley National Park Service)

This temperature was measured at the Death Valley National Park Service Visitors Center in Furnace Creek using a National Weather Service owned automated observation system. The elevation of this equipment is 194 feet below sea level. 




The temperature sensor is rated up to 158° F and measures at 0.018° F accuracy. The equipment is maintained regularly by the National Weather Service Electronic Technicians. Preliminary findings indicate it was in proper working condition at the time of the observation.


This high temperature is considered preliminary pending a formal review. A Climate Extremes Committee of experts will be formed to verify the validity of the 130° F reading. This process will take some time. An announcement will be posted once it is completed.

If verified, the 130° F on August 16, 2020, would tie for the 4th most reliably measured, all-time global high temperature and will be the hottest temperature officially verified on earth since July 1931 and the hottest in Death Valley since 1913.

  • (1st) 134°F - July 10, 1913 - Furnace Creek
  • (2nd) 131°F - July 13, 1913 - Furnace Creek
  • (2nd) 131°F - July 7, 1931 - Kebili, Tunisia
  • (4th) 130°F - July 12, 1913 - Furnace Creek
  • (Preliminary) 130°F - August 16, 2020 - Furnace Creek


The observations from 1913 were also recorded at Furnace Creek (formerly Greenland Ranch). It is important to stress that the above-listed records (other than the temperature recorded most recently) are considered official World Meteorological Organization World Records.


You can track real-time observation & forecasts using our Death Valley Recreation Page, which can be found here,