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The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth may have been hit on Sunday after Death Valley in California sweltered in 54.4C (130F) heat.
The National Weather Service tweeted the potentially record-breaking temperature and said it beat Death Valley's previous August record.
The weather service warned of 'blistering, widespread excessive heat across the West', while staff at the park told visitors: "Drink plenty of water and carry extra. Avoid hiking (after 10am). Travel prepared to survive."
Death Valley has the current record for the hottest temperature recorded on Earth, an incredible 56.6C 134F degree was recorded on 10 July 1913, however, experts have cast doubt on the accuracy of that reading.
Per the climate data in xmACIS2, this is the first time since 1913 that Death Valley has reached 130F. In July 2013, it last reached 129F. If valid, it would be the hottest August temperature at the site by 3F. @NWSVegas pic.twitter.com/gZNBW4NXI4
- NWS WPC (@NWSWPC) August 16, 2020
An analysis of the record in 2016 found that it was 'essentially not possible from a meteorological perspective'.
A 55C (131F) reading from Kebili in Tunisia from 7 July 1931 also has 'serious credibility issues', according to the same study's author.
But according to Randy Cerveny, who leads the World Meteorological Organisation's weather and climate extremes team, the temperature recorded on Sunday seemed to be 'legitimate'.
He told the Washington Post: "I am recommending that the World Meteorological Organisation preliminary accept the observation.
"In the upcoming weeks, we will, of course, be examining it in detail, along with the US National Climate Extremes Committee, using one of our international evaluation teams."
The National Weather Service said: "Death Valley, California recorded a high temperature of 130°F at 3.41pm PDT on Sunday, August 16, 2020. This temperature was measured at Furnace Creek near the Visitors Center using a National Weather Service owned automated observation system.
"This observed high temperature is considered preliminary and not yet official. If verified, this will be the hottest temperature officially verified since July of 1913, also at Death Valley. As this is an extreme temperature event, the recorded temperature will need to undergo a formal review. A Climate Extremes Committee will be formed to verify the validity of the 130°F reading."
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: US News
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