Death Valley’s dubious honor
Charleston has been named the most mannerly, most tourist-friendly, most appealing for outdoor sports, most romantic and best place to dine.
But come August, 95 percent of conversations invoke a different superlative — one that we don’t the right to claim.
While it certainly seems that no place could be hotter than a mall parking lot at noon in Charleston in August, there is Death Valley.
No, not Clemson’s football stadium.
Not LSU’s, either.
The Death Valley in this heated case lies in the Mojave Desert in eastern California.
After years of having to settle for being called the second-hottest place on earth, scientists are setting the record straight. That hot spot in Libya that supposedly registered 136.4 degrees in 1922? Not valid.
Death Valley’s 1913 reading of 134 degrees takes the crown.
If the crown isn’t too hot to handle. During the hottest days there, people are advised not to wear jewelry because it gets burning hot.
Perhaps surprisingly, tourists flock to Death Valley because of the extreme temperatures. Europeans in particular like to come in the summer when it is hottest.
Death Valley is wearing its reclaimed superlative with pride. For now. One scientist says Death Valley’s 134-degree claim might not be valid either.
But even if that record is disproved, Death Valley will still claim the “hottest” title. Three times, the temperature has been officially confirmed at 129 degrees in Death Valley’s Furnace Creek — the highest reading next to 134 degrees.
While the Lowcountry congratulates Death Valley, we must note that it also claims to be the driest place.
Factor in the humidity in Charleston in August in that mall parking lot and Death Valley might just have some hot competition.