The Physics
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Hottest Temperature on Earth

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Result
"Death Valley." Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia. CD-ROM.Compton's, 1995. "… the scorching heat reached 134 °F." 56.7 °C
"Death Valley." Encarta.CD-ROM. Redmond, WA: Microsoft, 1996. "… the National Weather Service recorded 56.7 °C in 1913." 56.7 °C
"Death Valley." World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book Corporation, 1999: 62. "134 °F was reported there on July 10, 1913" 56.7 °C
"The Natural World." Guinness Book of World Records. Guinness, 1999: 250. "Temperatures of over 120 °F were recorded in Death Valley, California on 43 consecutive days." > 48 °C

The hottest temperature in the United States ever recorded most likely occurred in Death Valley, California during 43 consecutive days between July 6 and August 17, 1917. During those days, the temperature was over 48 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit). The national weather service recorded 56.7 °C (134 °F). The date reported there was July 10, 1913.

The temperature of a certain area depends upon a set of conditions that are called climate controls. these controls include latitude, altitude, topography, distance from large bodies of water, and nearby ocean currents. All these factors added up together created the circumstance to reach such a high temperature.

Death Valley lies mostly in eastern-central California. It was named Death Valley by one of eighteen survivors of a party of thirty attempting in 1849 to find a shortcut to the California gold fields. In terms of latitude is it located at about 35 degrees North, so it is in a good location for large amounts of sunlight. It is considered a middle latitude region.

In terms of altitude, the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere is in Death Valley. Generally, the lower the elevation, the higher the temperature. The elevation in the lowest point is 86 meters below sea level.

In terms of topography, Death Valley is a harsh desert with an average of 5 cm of rain a year. there are no nearby bodies of water, thus, no ocean currents.

Death Valley is about 209 kilometers long and 10 to 23 kilometers wide. Despite all these harsh conditions, several animals, such as toads, lizards and plants (like grass and cactus), are found there.

Mike Levin -- 2000

Climate data from www.climatedata.com. (What an appropriate name.)

Tripoli City, Libya

Average Temperature

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
13.6 14.3 16.0 18.7 21.5 24.7 26.4 27.5 25.6 22.4 19.0 14.7 20.4
°F 56.5 57.7 60.8 65.7 70.7 76.5 79.5 81.5 78.1 72.3 66.2 58.5 68.7

Average Maximum Temperature

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
15.9 17.1 19.4 22.3 24.2 27.4 29.4 29.9 29.4 26.8 22.5 17.7 23.6
°F 60.6 62.8 66.9 72.1 75.6 81.3 84.9 85.8 84.9 80.2 72.5 63.9 74.5

Average Minimum Temperature

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
8.3 9.4 11.3 13.7 16.4 19.7 21.8 22.4 21.6 18.5 14.1 9.7 15.6
°F 46.9 48.9 52.3 56.7 61.5 67.5 71.2 72.3 70.9 65.3 57.4 49.5 60.1

Azzizia, Libya

Average Maximum Temperature

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
17.4 19.7 22.8 27.5 31.1 35.7 37.6 37.3 35.5 30.9 24.3 18.7 28.4
°F 63.3 67.5 73.0 81.5 88.0 96.3 99.7 99.1 95.9 87.6 75.7 65.7 83.1

Average Minimum Temperature

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
5.5 6.3 8.4 11.1 15.3 18.6 20.1 20.2 19.6 17.2 11.6 6.5 13.6
°F 41.9 43.3 47.1 52.0 59.5 65.5 68.2 68.4 67.3 63.0 52.9 43.7 56.5

Editor's Supplement -- 2002

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