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Death Valley tourism soars faster than the temperatures


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Death Valley is red hot right now.

Not just temperature-wise, mind you, though it’s certainly that, but the California desert that is often the hottest place on earth has become a news/2023/jul/14/california-death-valley-visit-temperature-record” target=”_self” rel=”” class=”sc-d4f8e0dd-0 iuAujS styledLinkColor “>tourist mecca as temperatures continue to soar in the Southwest.

Visitors are flocking to a part of the National Park known as Furnace Creek, where temperatures hit 128 degrees on Sunday.

The draw, apparently, is some kind of climate change-inspired tourism as people want to be on site in case the area sets a world record for the highest temperatures ever reliably recorded. (Furnace Creek holds the record of 134 degrees Farenheit, set in July 1913.)

A digital thermometer outside of the visitor’s center is a prime selfie spot, along with signs warning people not to walk in the area after 10:00 a.m.—advice that is being regularly ignored by visitors. (That thermometer is not an official reading.)

Excessive heat warnings are in place for much of Nevada and California, along with large swaths of Arizona and Texas Thursday, with heat advisories covering other parts of the state. The South and Southwest will continue to face record temperatures for as much as the coming two weeks, forecasters have warned. A heat dome (another term for a ridge of high pressure) over Arizona, Nevada and parts of California could trap the hot air in place., the government’s heat portal, says nearly 100 million Americans are under heat alerts.

While it might be a cool spot for visitors, there’s nothing cool about Death Valley these days. Even overnight lows are topping 100 degrees. The area failed to hit the record high on Sunday, though, perhaps — say forecasters — because of a very thin level of clouds.

“I just want to go to a place, sort of like Mount Everest, to say, you know, you did it,” one tourist told AP.


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