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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.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress sprints to meet crush of deadlines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congressional leaders have been pushing off vital action for months — and a lot of it will catch up with them in December, which begins Wednesday.

Driving the news: Funding for the federal government is set to expire at midnight on Friday. There are also consequential deadlines related to the debt limit, President Biden's agenda and annual actions like voting on the National Defense Authorization Act.