California’s Death Valley, the hottest place on Earth, could set a new world record high temperature this weekend as a massive heat wave sweeps across much of the US.

The National Weather Service at one point this week predicted a high of 131 F (55C) Sunday at a station near the national park’s Furnace Creek Visitor Center, which could mark a world record.

“There is a serious possibility that Death Valley will see temperatures this weekend between 130 (54.5C) and 132 F (55.5C), which if it happens will either tie the previous record or break it as the hottest temperature ever has been reliably measured on Earth,” climate scientist Daniel Swain tweeted.

Death Valley’s 1913 record high of 134 F (56.6C) has been disputed for decades by experts who believe the reading came from a sandstorm that caused superheated particles to hit the thermometer.

“Death Valley’s old record from July 1913 is 100% bogus,” weather records expert Christopher Burt told Climate Connections in July 2021, when Death Valley set the modern world record of 130 F (54, 4C).

As of Thursday night, the National Weather Service was predicting a high temperature of 130 F (54.4 C) in Death Valley on Sunday, which would tie the modern record.

Whether it sets a new record or not, these Death Valley temperatures are deadly for the world, with overnight lows that could exceed 100F (37.7C).

Extreme heat warnings are in place nationwide as a massive heat wave sweeps through California.

Bad conditions were expected to build Friday and into the weekend in Central and Southern California, where many residents should brace for the hottest weather of the year, the National Weather Service warned.

Highs in the desert interior could exceed 120F (48.8C) during the day.

In some cities, officials prepared to repurpose public libraries, public buildings and police stations as cooling centers, especially in desert areas.


Forecasters said the prolonged heatwave is extremely dangerous, especially for the elderly, homeless residents and other vulnerable populations. The heat could persist into next week as a wave of high pressure moves west from Texas.

In Las Vegas, regional health officials launched a new database Thursday to report heat-related and “heat-related” deaths in the city and surrounding Clark County from April to October.

The Southern Nevada Health District said seven people have died since April 11, and a total of 152 deaths last year were heat-related.