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Furnace Creek, California facts for kids

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Furnace Creek
Entrance to Furnace Creek Ranch
Entrance to Furnace Creek Ranch
Country United States
State California
County Inyo
Area
 • Total 31.463 sq mi (81.487 km2)
 • Land 31.203 sq mi (80.815 km2)
 • Water 0.260 sq mi (0.672 km2)  0.82%
Elevation
-190 ft (−57.9 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 136
 • Density 4.323/sq mi (1.669/km2)
Time zone UTC−08:00 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−07:00 (PDT)
ZIP Code
92328
Area codes 442/760
FIPS code 06-28021

Furnace Creek is a census-designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. The population was 24 at the 2010 census, down from 31 at the 2000 census. The elevation of the village is 190 feet (58 m) below sea level. Furnace Creek holds the record for the highest recorded air temperature on Earth at 134 °F (56.7 °C) on July 10, 1913. Furnace Creek also holds the record for the highest recorded natural ground surface temperature on Earth at 201 °F (93.9 °C) on July 15, 1972.

The visitor center, museum, and headquarters of the Death Valley National Park are located at Furnace Creek.

Geography and climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 31.5 square miles (82 km2), over 99% of it being land.

Springs in the Amargosa Range created a natural oasis at Furnace Creek, which has subsequently dwindled due to diversion of this water to support the village.

From 1911 through 2006, Furnace Creek had an average high temperature of 91.4 °F (33.0 °C) and an average low temperature of 62.9 °F (17.2 °C). During that time period, the hottest month was July with an average daily high temperature of 116.5 °F (46.9 °C) and the driest month was June with an average monthly precipitation of 0.05 in (1.3 mm).

Furnace Creek has the distinction of holding the record for the highest recorded temperature in the world, reaching 134 °F (56.7 °C) on July 10, 1913. Some meteorologists dispute the accuracy of the 1913 temperature measurement.

In addition, a ground temperature of 201 °F (93.9 °C) was recorded in Furnace Creek on July 15, 1972; this may be the highest natural ground surface temperature ever recorded. (Temperatures measured directly on the ground may exceed air temperatures by 30 to 50 °C.)

Climate data for Furnace Creek
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 88
(31.1)
97
(36.1)
102
(38.9)
113
(45)
122
(50)
128
(53.3)
134
(56.7)
127
(52.8)
123
(50.6)
113
(45)
98
(36.7)
88
(31.1)
134
(56.7)
Average high °F (°C) 66.9
(19.39)
73.3
(22.94)
82.1
(27.83)
90.5
(32.5)
100.5
(38.06)
109.9
(43.28)
116.5
(46.94)
114.7
(45.94)
106.5
(41.39)
92.8
(33.78)
77.1
(25.06)
65.2
(18.44)
91.4
(33)
Daily mean °F (°C) 53.4
(11.89)
59.8
(15.44)
68.4
(20.22)
76.3
(24.61)
86.6
(30.33)
95.5
(35.28)
102.2
(39)
100.2
(37.89)
91.0
(32.78)
77.1
(25.06)
62.6
(17)
51.7
(10.94)
77.2
(25.11)
Average low °F (°C) 40
(4.4)
46.3
(7.94)
54.8
(12.67)
62.1
(16.72)
72.7
(22.61)
81.2
(27.33)
88
(31.1)
85.7
(29.83)
75.6
(24.22)
61.5
(16.39)
48.1
(8.94)
38.3
(3.5)
62.9
(17.17)
Record low °F (°C) 15
(-9.4)
26
(-3.3)
26
(-3.3)
39
(3.9)
46
(7.8)
54
(12.2)
67
(19.4)
65
(18.3)
55
(12.8)
37
(2.8)
30
(-1.1)
22
(-5.6)
15
(-9.4)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.39
(9.9)
0.51
(13)
0.30
(7.6)
0.12
(3)
0.03
(0.8)
0.05
(1.3)
0.07
(1.8)
0.13
(3.3)
0.21
(5.3)
0.07
(1.8)
0.18
(4.6)
0.30
(7.6)
2.36
(59.9)
Sunshine hours 217 226 279 330 372 390 403 372 330 310 210 186 3,625
Source #1: NOAA 1981-2010 US Climate Normals
Source #2: http://weather2travel.com

History

FURNACE CREEK, EAST SIDE OF DEATH VALLEY, CALIFORNIA - NARA - 524163
Furnace Creek in 1871

The Timbisha Native Americans inhabited what is now known as the Furnace Creek oasis for centuries.

Greenland Ranch was established by the William Tell Coleman Borax Company in 1883. It was named after the green Alfalfa fields planted at the location. A Weather Station was established at the ranch in 1891. Greenland Ranch was renamed Furnace Creek Ranch in 1933.

The Timbisha tribe currently live at their Death Valley Indian Community reservation here. The Timbisha people provided many of the artisans and builders to construct the original Fred Harvey Company resort buildings, the Indian Village, and Park Service structures. They were one of the first tribes to secure tribal status through the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Federal Acknowledgment Process.

In present times, as the federally recognized Death Valley Timbisha Shoshone Band of California, they are the majority residents of Furnace Creek's permanent population at the tribe's reservation, the 'Death Valley Indian Community.'

Furnace Creek was formerly the center of Death Valley mining and operations for the Pacific Coast Borax Company and the historic 20 Mule Teams hauling wagon trains of borax across the Mojave Desert.

On the afternoon of July 10, 1913, a temperature of 134 °F (56.7 °C) was recorded at Greenland Ranch. This temperature stands as the highest ambient air temperature ever recorded at the surface of the Earth. (A report of a temperature of 58 °C (136.4 °F) recorded in Libya in 1922 was later determined to be inaccurate.)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
2000 31
2010 24 −22.6%
2018 (est.) 127 429.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

The 2010 United States Census reported that Furnace Creek had a population of 24. The population density was 0.8 people per square mile (0.3/km2). The racial makeup was six (25.0%) White, 16 (66.7%) American Indian, and two (8.3%) from two or more races.

The Census reported that 24 people (100% of the population) lived in households. There were 15 households, out of which two (13.3%) had children under age 18, four (26.7%) were married couples living together, four (20.0%) had a female householder with no husband present. Eight households (53.3%) were made up of individuals, and three (20.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 1.60. There were seven families (46.7%), and the average family size was 2.29. The population consisted of two people (8.3%) under 18, two (8.3%) aged 18 to 24, five (20.8%) aged 25 to 44, nine (37.5%) aged 45 to 64, and six (25.0%) who were 65 or older. The median age was 52.0 years.

There were 15 occupied housing units at an average density of 0.6 per square mile (0.2/km2), of which 11 (73.3%) were owner-occupied, and four (26.7%) were occupied by renters.

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