This guy could have saved a few bucks if he’d dragged his bathtub outside on Monday. (Photo by jthezel.)

If you have a hot tub, it’s recommended that you keep it at between 98 and 103 degrees F. Maybe you like it a little warmer than that. Fine. Take it up to, I dunno, 110. Point is, you only want it so hot.

If you live in Needles, Calif., there was an easy way to fill up your hot tub earlier this week: leave it outside.

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A searing heat wave rare even for the Desert Southwest sent temperatures soaring to record levels on Monday, with Needles, California tying its record high for the date of 118°F (47.8°C). The temperature might have gone higher in Needles, but a thunderstorm rolled in at 3:20 pm, and by 3:56 pm PDT, rain began falling at a temperature of 115°F (46.1°C). Most of the rain evaporated, since the humidity was only 11%, and only a trace of precipitation was recorded in the rain gauge. Nevertheless, Monday’s rain at 115° in Needles sets a new world record for the hottest rain in world history.

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Emphasis added, but probably not needed.

The hottest rain in world history. Water falling from the sky at 115 degrees. That’s 10 degrees hotter than the hottest day in the history of New York City — in terms of air temperature. I was here for that. It sucked. If it had been hotter and rained? I’d have moved to Jersey, which is saying something.

Phoenix, a molten rock’s throw from Needles, is being baked by more than a week of 110-degree days. The temperature peaked at 116 degrees on August 8, a record for the day. Imagine walking around in that, except it’s wet.

If you need me, I’ll be in Needles, walking around with a tea bag in my open mouth, a slice of lemon hooked on my lip.

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