Aug. 17 (UPI) — Death Valley, Calif., experienced what might have been the hottest temperature ever recorded on the Earth, experts say.
The mercury reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit Sunday afternoon, according to the National Weather service.
The temperature was recorded at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center at Death Valley National Park, the NWS said. Before Sunday, the hottest temperature ever reliably recorded on the planet also occurred in Death Valley, 129.2 degrees in mid-2013.
Previous records exceeding 130 degrees — in Death Valley in 1913 and Tunisia in 1931 — have credibility issues, said weather historian Christopher Burt.
The World Meteorological Organization said if verified, Sunday’s temperature would be the hottest global temperature recorded.
“Everything I’ve seen so far indicates that is a legitimate observation,” Randy Cerveny, of the World Meteorological Organization’s weather and climate extremes team, said. “In the upcoming weeks, we will, of course, be examining it in detail, along with the U.S. National Climate Extremes Committee, using one of our international evaluation teams.”
Death Valley, well-known for scorching temperatures, lies some 190 feet below sea level in the Mojave Desert of southeastern California, the lowest dry location in the United States. It recorded an average temperature of 108.1 degrees in July 2018, the hottest month ever recorded there.
Record highs were seen in various locations in the southwestern United States on Saturday. Needles, Calif., reached 123 degrees; Barstow, Calif., hit 113 degrees; Kingsman, Ariz., saw 111 degrees and Las Vegas registered 113 degrees.