Amid the heatwave that struck California over the last few days, Death Valley's Furnace Creek recorded the hottest recorded temperature in the U.S. since 1913.
On Sunday, Furnace Creek in the deserts of Southern California reached a temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, the NOAA's Weather Prediction Center confirmed. It is expected that the high temps in SoCal will continue through Tuesday.
The intense heat comes close to matching the hottest temperature recorded in the United States, which also was also in Furnace Creek. In 1913, the United States Weather Bureau reported an all-time high temp of 134 degrees, which is still the highest ambient air temperature to be recorded on Earth.
"This observed high temperature is considered preliminary and not yet official," the National Weather Service wrote in a statement. "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."
There is the possibility, however, that this new number is the highest reliably recorded temperature. In a 2016 analysis, Weather Underground historian Christopher Burt contested the 1913 record, calling it "essentially not possible from a meteorological perspective."
Speaking with the Washington Post, Prof. Randy Cerveny of Arizona State University said that the new record is looking to be a "legitimate observation" thus far.