[Nationwide radar; courtesy mesonet.org]
The highest temperature ever (reliably) recorded on Earth was 134 degrees and it occurred in the Furnance Creek section of Death Valley, California on July 10, 1913. This past Sunday, however, the high temperature in Death Valley maxed out at a relatively chilly 89 degrees which is nearly 30 degrees below average for this time of year. It set the record there for the coolest high temperature ever recorded for the date (August 3rd) by smashing the old record of 104 degrees set in 1945. In fact, this was only the 8th time that a high temperature in the 80s has occurred in Death Valley in July or August with records going back to 1911 and there hasn’t been a high less than 90 degrees since 1984 (source Capital Weather Gang).
One of the factors that caused the unusual chill in Death Valley was an extensive cloud cover that blocked out the typical intense sunshine. Copious amounts of moisture poured into southern California during the weekend from the Pacific Ocean which resulted in unusual rainfall for this time of the year. In fact, some areas received record amounts of rainfall for the date which led to floods and mudslides in mountainous areas. Rain continues today in California, but this time it is falling across northern parts of the state.