weather

The mercury hit 130 degrees in Death Valley, California, last weekend. If the provisional measurements are upheld, it’ll be the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth using modern equipment.

The scorching heat hasn’t subsided much since then.

“It’s rare for us to get (heat waves) really remaining over a week to 10 days, and in this case it could actually be a couple weeks,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Curt Kaplan.

When a weather station in Death Valley, Calif., registered an astonishing 130 degrees Fahrenheit this week, it got meteorologists' attention.

After all, there's a possibility that this is the highest such temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth — if it's for real.

The temperature at Death Valley National Park hit a scorching 130 degrees on Sunday, marking what could be the hottest temperature on Earth since at least 1913, the National Weather Service says. Any visitors to the park are getting blunt advice: "Travel prepared to survive."

The U.S. government is juicing up its weather forecasting power.

This week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that it has upgraded its main weather forecasting model, called the Global Forecast System.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

In a cow pasture near Shawnee, Kirk Wilson parks his work truck, grabs a harness and prepares for a 30-foot climb.

“We’re changing the sensor at the top of the tower that measures the wind direction,” said Wilson, a burly meteorological electronics technician with a big beard and a booming laugh.

On the ground, another tech uses a GPS receiver to make sure the sensitive instrument is properly aligned before it’s tightened in place.

Blizzards are affecting much of the Great Lakes region this weekend, and the National Weather Service says it's "shaping up to be a historic storm." The snow is just one part of a massive storm system affecting areas from the Gulf Coast to northern Wisconsin and Michigan.

Before it got cold this winter, it was warm. Very warm. In fact, new data out Monday shows 2017 was the third warmest year recorded in the lower 48 states.

And it was also a smackdown year for weather disasters: 16 weather events each broke the billion-dollar barrier.

First, the heat. Last year was 2.6 degrees F warmer than the average year during the 20th century.

While above-average temperatures might sound good to much of the U.S. right now, it's too warm in rural Alaska. High temperatures 10 to 20 degrees above average are upsetting everything from recreation to hunting for food.

Last Saturday, Maurice Andrews won the Kuskokwim River's first sled dog race of the season.

"It felt awesome, man," Andrews said, "Finally! Finally good to be out."

If you live anywhere along the U.S. East Coast, brace yourself for what is about to come: a nor'easter that forecasters are calling a "bomb cyclone."

How much the storm affects the coast is contingent on a number of factors, most notably how far out to sea it tracks.

Pages