DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — An automated measuring system in California's Death Valley reported a temperature of 130 degrees amid a blistering heatwave on Sunday.
The reading would be among the highest ever recorded globally if it is confirmed.
The National Weather Service says the high was recorded at 3:41 p.m. at Furnace Creek near the park's visitor center.
It's the same location where the world record high of 134 degrees was recorded in July 1913. That record, however, is disputed.
The Washington Post reported that in 2016, an expert analysis determined that the 1913 reading was "essentially not possible from a meteorological perspective." The analysis found that the reading was inconsistent with temperature readings from nearby areas and that the weather observer at the time was "inexperienced."
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
The World Meteorological Organization says that if Sunday's temperature is confirmed, it would be the highest globally since 1931 when 131 degrees was reported in Tunisia. That is also disputed.
California is currently in the midst of an intense heatwave that caused the state's power grid to overload over the weekend, resulting in a series of rolling blackouts. It's the first time in nearly 20 years that utility companies had to institute rolling blackouts due to an overload of the power grid.
Energy usage in the state is expected to remain high as the heatwave continues.