Home News Death Valley motorcyclist dies as temperatures near 130 degrees

Death Valley motorcyclist dies as temperatures near 130 degrees

Record Death Valley heat claimed the life of a motorcyclist Sunday as temperatures neared 130 degrees.

The unidentified rider, along with a second motorcyclist hospitalized Saturday, were part of a biker sextet passing through northern California’s Badwater Basin area, according to Death Valley National Park officials.

“Due to the high temperatures, emergency medical flight helicopters were unable to respond, as they cannot generally fly safely over 120 degrees,” park officials said in a statement obtained by the Daily News.

Temperatures reportedly topped out at 128 degrees Saturday when the six motorcyclists made their deadly run. Officials said that temperature surpassed Death Valley’s previous high of 127 degrees, set in 2007. Sunday saw similar conditions.

“While this is a very exciting time to experience potential world record setting temperatures in Death Valley, we encourage visitors to choose their activities carefully,” park superintendent Mike Reynolds said.

According to officials, once a heat index of 99 degrees is exceeded, ambient air ceases to provide relief, so bikers don’t cool off while in motion. The National Weather Service defines “heat index” as the way the combination of humidity and air temperature feels to the human body. Protective gear worn by motorcycle riders tend to make them even hotter.

Death Valley National Park’s visitors page warned Monday’s high temperature could be around 130 degrees again and advised hikers not to be outdoors after 10 a.m.

“Travel prepared to survive,” officials advise.

Temperature readings outside Death Valley’s Furnace Creek Visitors Center showed the mercury hitting 133 degrees. Park ranger Mathew Lamar told the Associated Press the thermometer there draws radiant heat from being near a building and can run five degrees warmer than actual desert temperatures.

With News Wire Services


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