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Meteorologists seek to confirm 130-degree Death Valley temperature

Tourists descend as temperatures climb in Death Valley
Posted at 8:27 AM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 11:54:04-04

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."

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.