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Death Valley Temps Hit Record High at 129; More Extreme Heat Ahead?

Image: Death Valley Temps Hit Record High at 129; More Extreme Heat Ahead?

By David Ogul   |   Monday, 01 Jul 2013 06:10 PM

You think it’s hot where you live? Try Death Valley in California, where the temperature on Sunday hit a record 129 degrees.

That made it the hottest day in June ever, anywhere in the country, the LA Times reported. The National Weather Service forecast said it could be even hotter Monday: 130 degrees.

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Many are wondering if the current heat wave will lead to a new record, the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth. The current record was set July 10, 1913, when the mercury reached 134 degrees in Death Valley.

Especially alarming is that temperatures are pushing the limit so early in summer, which began less than two weeks ago.

“It’s early for us to have these temperatures in June,” National Park spokesperson Cheryl Chipman told the Times. “We hope getting to 129 this early in the season is not foreboding.”

It wasn’t much cooler elsewhere in the Southwest, with Las Vegas recording a high of 117 degrees and Phoenix residents sweltering through 114 degree heat.

Relief isn’t in sight, as temperatures had already reached 103 degrees on Monday in Phoenix by 11 a.m.

The National Weather Service says Las Vegas has seen temperatures hit 117 degrees only twice before: In 1942 and in 2005.

Of course, the heat can be good for business, depending on what kind of business you’re in.

“We have more work than we can handle," Max Ghaly of Cathedral City Air Conditioning told CNN.com. “We’re running all over the place trying to do what we can.”

Cathedral City is just outside of Palm Springs, Calif., where temperatures hit 111 degrees on Sunday and were forecast to reach up to 116 degrees on Monday. Salt Lake City recorded record-breaking temperatures for two straight days when the mercury hit 105.

The heat has been doing more than making people uncomfortable. Nineteen firefighters battling an Arizona blaze fueled by high temperatures were killed when overrun by flames Sunday. It was the deadliest incident of its kind in the nation’s history.

Of course, not every city was sweltering. In downtown San Diego, the high reached a comfortable 74 degrees.

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