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Death Valley National Park, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

A Southern Californian thermometer at Death Valley's Furnace Creek reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, per the National Weather Service (NWS).

Why it matters: If verified, it would be Earth's hottest recorded temperature since at least 1931, the most scorching August day on record and the third-highest temperature ever recorded, per the Washington Post. Records were broken across California over the weekend, as the heat wave triggered wildfires and rolling power outages.

Of note: The highest temperature ever recorded on Earth was considered to be at Death Valley in 1913, when a reading of 134°F was observed. But analysis by climate experts in 2016 found this was "essentially not possible from a meteorological perspective."

Yes, but: Randy Cerveny, who heads the World Meteorological Organization's weather and climate extremes team, told WashPost, the latest observation seemed "legitimate."

  • "I am recommending that the World Meteorological Organisation preliminarily accept the observation," Cerveny added.

The big picture: The NWS said temperature records were set in several other places in California on Sunday, including in Palmdale and Lancaster airports (both hit 111°F) and LAX International Airport (93°F) — and Paso Robles Airport tied its record for the month at 114°F.

"Storms with abundant lightning from Nevada/eastern California northeastward through southwestern Montana is expected to start new fires or increase fire activity. Isolated severe storms capable of strong wind gusts are expected across parts of eastern Oregon into far southwest Idaho and southern Arizona."
— NWS Weather Prediction Center

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details throughout.

Go deeper

Newsom to Trump at wildfire event: "Climate change is real"

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) pointedly told President Trump on Monday afternoon that climate change is "exacerbating" the wildfires currently ravaging the West Coast.

Why it matters: Trump has repeatedly insisted that the fires were "about forest management," while dismissing climate change. Newsom acknowledged to Trump that "we have not done justice on our forest management," but emphasized that climate change was making everything much worse. A number of politicians have criticized Trump and his administration for not properly addressing climate change.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Our make-believe economy is here to stay

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Federal Reserve and global central banks are remaking the world's economy in an effort to save it, but have created something of a monster.

Why it matters: The Fed-driven economy relies on the creation of trillions of dollars — literally out of thin air — that are used to purchase bonds and push money into a pandemic-ravaged economy that has long been dependent on free cash and is only growing more addicted.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Why Trump may still fire Barr

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Attorney General Barr may be fired or resign, as President Trump seethes about Barr's statement this week that no widespread voter fraud has been found.

Behind the scenes: A source familiar with the president's thinking tells Axios that Trump remains frustrated with what he sees as the lack of a vigorous investigation into his election conspiracy theories.