Death Valley is about to get even deadlier.

California’s national park could break its own record for the hottest place on Earth early next week as a dangerous heat wave sweeps through the Golden State.

Temperatures in the aptly named park could soar above a scorching 130 degrees Fahrenheit — coming eerily close to surpassing the highest temperature ever recorded on the planet, a record set more than 100 years ago in Death Valley.

According to meteorologists with the National Weather Service, the historic heat is most likely to hit next Monday or Tuesday.


A welcome sign is seen: 122 Fahrenheit (50 C) in Death Valley, California, United States, on June 6, 2024.
In Death Valley, temperatures could rise to over 54 degrees Celsius in the coming week. Anadolu via Getty Images

“The chance (of us reaching or exceeding 130) is about a 25 percent for those two days,” meteorologist Brian Planz told SFGATE.

This week, New South Wales issued an extreme heat warning, with average daily temperatures expected to exceed 10 degrees Celsius for several days.

According to Planz, temperatures in Death Valley are expected to reach 127 degrees on Monday, but could even exceed 130 degrees if the high pressure ridge causing this heat wave is directly over the park.

Due to the extreme temperatures, park officials warn visitors not to hike through Death Valley. In addition to the heat, cell phone reception in Death Valley is notoriously poor.


A sign reads
In July 1913, a temperature of 134 degrees was recorded in the park. Anadolu via Getty Images

In an alert, the NPS warned daredevils to “travel prepared to survive” – especially since help will be far away and scarce in such dangerous conditions.

No rescue helicopters come to pick up hikers when temperatures rise above 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the average summer temperature in Death Valley.

“I think that’s a shocking piece of information to most people. But a helicopter doesn’t come when it’s over 120 degrees outside. Warm air just doesn’t have as much lift as cold air. So a helicopter gets less lift in extreme temperatures. It seems like the most effective thing we can do, short of telling people, ‘Oh, it’s hot out there,'” a Death Valley National Park spokesperson told Vox last month.

Potential park visitors are instead urged to stay indoors, especially where air conditioning is available. Even touching overheated surfaces such as the valley floor can cause severe burns.

The extreme heat can be deadly: at such temperatures the human body loses the ability to cool itself properly by sweating.

Long-term exposure can cause body temperature to rise dangerously, which can lead to organ failure.