Weatherman who Blogs for BB Patch Seeks New World Record High in Death Valley
Kevin Martin of Corona, who runs web sites including The Weather Space and Southern California Weather Authority, said Friday he plans to drive to Furnace Creek and Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park on Sunday June 30.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the San Gorgonio Pass and most of Southern California from 10 a.m. Saturday to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Death Valley is billed by the National Park Service as the hottest, driest, lowest spot in North America, and it is now officially known as the hottest place on Earth.
In Fall 2012, a team of scientists known as the World Meteorological Organization, the climate agency for the United Nations, tossed out a temperature reading of 136.4 degrees claimed by the city of Al Aziziyah, Libya, on Sept. 13, 1922.
A 134-degree reading recorded at Greenland Ranch in Death Valley on July 10, 1913, is now the official world record, the New York Times reported in December.
Park and weather officials are planning a World Record Heat 100th Anniversary event on Wednesday July 10, 2013.
Martin believes the record could be eclipsed this weekend, and he hopes to be there to record it. He plans to visit both Furnace Creek, where the National Weather Service has instruments, and Badwater Basin, because he believes Badwater Basin is hotter.
"I'm convinced Badwater Basin is 2 degrees hotter because of the elevation," Martin told Banning-Beaumont Patch in a phone interview Friday. "When it was 134 in Furnace Creek I believe it was 136 in Badwater Basin.
"Like the Coachella Valley, the lower areas like Indio are much hotter than Palm Springs."
The ridge of high pressure expected to bring high temperatures will be further east on Saturday, Martin said, and he expects the hottest temperature readings of the weekend in Death Valley will occur Sunday.
Martin said he's taking his mom, Carolyn Martin, 63, of Hesperia, because she found out about his trip and asked to go along. Martin said they're going to take her car, a relatively new Honda Accord, which has working air conditioning and good tires.
Martin said he intends to take weather instruments, post his GPS locations online, and update his quest for a new world record high temp on The Weather Space.com Facebook Page.
Martin said Patch readers can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Death Valley National Park will remain open through the weekend, Park Ranger Carole Wendler said Friday morning in a phone interview.
There are two National Weather Service stations at Furnace Creek, Wendler said. The Park Service records weather data from the Weather Service instruments, and publishes Weather Service readings and forecasts in its daily Morning Report.
The forecast for Death Valley on Saturday June 29 is "Sunny. Highs 104 to 107 in the mountains . . . around 130 at Furnace Creek."
The extended forecast, which includes Sunday June 30 is "Sunny. Highs 106 to 109 in the mountains . . . around 130 at Furnace Creek."
DEATH VALLEY FACTS:
- Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park, is the lowest place in North America and one of the lowest places in the world at 282 feet below sea level.
- The highest point in the park is Telescope Peak, 11,049 feet above sea level.
- The park's area is approximately 3.3 million acres, or more than 5,000 square miles. The park is the largest in 49 states, excluding Alaska.
- The park is open 365 days a year.
- Death Valley was given its name by a group of goldseekers who got lost there in the winter of 1849-1850, according to the Park Service. They became known as the " Lost 49ers."
From the NPS Death Valley FAQ page:
Even though, as far as we know, only one of the group died here, they all assumed that this valley would be their grave. As the party climbed out of the valley over the Panamint Mountains, one of the men turned, looked back, and said "goodbye, Death Valley."