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During a record heat have in July of 1913 in Death Valley, the thermometer topped out at 134-degrees Fahrenheit at Greenwater Ranch (today’s Furnace Creek Ranch, not far from the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, as seen in the above photo from the 2010 Death Valley Photography Workshop) in what would stand as the hottest temperature ever recorded in the world. At least it would stand until 1922 when the temperature was reported to reach 136.4°F in present-day Libya.

But in a surprising announcement last week, the global record temperature has been returned to Death Valley after a panel from the World Meteorological Organization’s Commission of Climatology concluded that the temperature reading that day in Libya was taken erroneously by an inexperienced observer.

[onethird_columns ][/onethird_columns] [twothirds_columns_last ]So once again, Death Valley holds the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet, in addition to the lowest point (the basin of Badwater, seen at left, sits at -282 feet below sea level) in North America, and the driest.

Certainly an unusual “claim to fame” for a location that is often overlooked for its remarkable and spectacular photographic opportunities.


Now, here at High Sierra Workshops, we play it cool — and smart — by holding our annual Death Valley Photography Workshop in March of each year, when the weather is much cooler with the high temperature rarely breaking above the mid-90°F range. And remember, that’s a dry heat, which makes for very comfortable days and evenings for our four days of photography.

According to the National Park Service at Death Valley National Park, the average daily high temperature is 113°F in the month of August. For year-to-date in 2012, the hottest temperature so far has been 128°F

If you are interested in how this change of title for Hottest Spot came about, below is the announcement from the World Meteorological Organization’s Commission of Climatology:

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