Today marks the anniversary of when Death Valley, Calif., set the all-time record high for not just the United States, but also the Western Hemisphere.
Temperatures in Death Valley (at Greenland Ranch, which is now known as Furnace Creek Ranch) soared to 134 degrees on July 10, 1913.
That date was actually one of five consecutive days when Death Valley recorded a high of 129 degrees or higher.
The high of 134 degrees from 1913 goes beyond the record books of the Western Hemisphere. It is the second hottest temperature ever measured in the world. El Azizia, Libya, sits at the top of that list with a high of 136 degrees on Sept. 13, 1922.
While a high of 134 degrees is extreme even by Death Valley's standards, blazing heat is not uncommon. The maximum average high temperature in July is 120 degrees, compared to the 106 degrees in Phoenix, Ariz.
Death Valley owes its hot weather to its extremely low elevation (it sits at nearly 300 feet below sea level) and dry climate.
Death Valley averages only 2.33 inches of rain each year, meaning there is hardly ever moisture in the ground, and the sun's energy can be used entirely for heating.
When the sun's energy comes into contact with wet ground, evaporation takes place and reduces the amount of heating that could ultimately take place.
Interestingly, the all-time coldest reading in Death Valley was also set in 1913. Temperatures bottomed out at 15 degrees on Jan. 8 of that year, according to the Death Valley National Park's website.
The midwestern United States will be in the crosshairs of potent thunderstorms into Saturday night.
Much of the eastern United States will continue to swelter with above-average temperatures into the end of the month.
Tropical Storm Darby, located over the Central Pacific, is expected to bring locally heavy rain and high surf to the islands this weekend.
Those looking for a break from the heat across the central United States will be in luck as a slow cooldown is in store starting this weekend.
The more than 100,000 people expected to attend the annual Glorious Goodwood festival next week will want to keep a brolly handy.
While a vast amount of dry air has dominated and will continue to impact the Atlantic basin over the next few weeks, tropical activity could spark near the west coast of Africa.
Simla, CO (1996)
4.5" diameter hail.
Mid-Atlantic Ocean (1788)
(22nd-24th) George Washington Hurricane; After causing ship disasters off SW Bermuda, the storm moved NW over Tidewater, NC and VA to pass right over George Washington's Mt. Vernon plantation. On July 24th, George Washington wrote in his diary: "About noon the wind suddenly shifted from NE to SW and blew the remaining part of the day violently from that quarter. The tide this time rose near higher than it was ever known to do, driving boats, etc. into fields, where no tide had ever been heard of before, and most, it is apprehended, having done infinite damage on their wharves at Alexandria, Norfolk, Baltimore, etc. At home all day."
Canton, IL (1975)
A tornado ripped through a 3-block section of downtown, killing 2 people, injuring 75 and creating $5 million damage. A 15-foot wooden plank was driven through an auto engine block, splitting the front of the car in two. The woman driving was not injured. National Guardsmen were called in to prevent looting.