A summer of extremes led to the hottest day in the Death Valley followed by massive floods causing waterfalls.
1. Death Valley
The US national park Death Valley, famous for being one of the hottest places on the planet, set a new record for the hottest September day anywhere on the planet when its Furnace Creek thermometer hit 52°C (127°F) degrees on 1 September.
Unprecedented: Death Valley more than doubled its record for 120°F days in September, tied its monthly record of 125°, & experienced its highest average temperature over a 7-day period by 4.2°F. The number of 120F days & peak temperature are below. #cawx #heatwave #HeatWave2022 pic.twitter.com/8IhRXQSiWq— Don Sutherland (@DonSuth89069583) September 9, 2022
The Death Valley is a desert valley in Eastern California, in the northern Mojave Desert, bordering the Great Basin Desert. During summer, it is the hottest place on Earth. Death Valley’s Badwater Basin is the point of lowest elevation in North America, at around 86 meters (282 feet) below sea level. Despite its low-level position, the valley is long and narrow and is walled by high, steep mountain ranges. The sun heats the desert’s surface because of the clear, dry air and the lack of vegetation.
2. Tourist attraction
While the heat may send people seeking shade, it actually draws the tourists to Death Valley, where scorching temperatures can sometimes surprise them.
The ground heats up, we’ve measured temperatures of 201 as far as ground temperatures. The ground is then radiating heat back up into the air.Abby Wines, Death Valley National Park spokeswoman
Death Valley is vast, it is the largest national park in the United States (excluding Alaska) and for this reason it is not uncommon for some people to book Death Valley tours from Las Vegas or Los Angeles.
3. Hurricane Kay
However, flash flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Kay has caused waterfalls in the arid Death Valley very recently. According to the US National Park Service, the influx of water into Death Valley came with Hurricane Kay’s tropical storm, which caused torrential rain over the area on 10 September. This unprecedented storm may come as a result of the intense heat wave that scorched most of California last week, leading to electrical shortages and wildfires across the state.