A thermometer at Death Valley's Furnace Creek in the Southern California desert has soared to 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 Celsius), the highest global temperature in more than a century, the U.S. National Weather Service said.
"If verified, this will be the hottest temperature officially verified since July of 1913," NWS Las Vegas, which owns the automated observation system, said of the reading on Sunday afternoon, emphasizing that it was preliminary.
It will need to undergo a formal review before the record is confirmed because of its significance, it said on its Twitter feed, linking to an NWS statement.
The National Weather Service's automated weather station close to the Furnace Creek visitors' center near the border with Nevada hit the extreme high at 3:41 pm local time.
Death Valley's all-time record high, according to the World Meteorological Organization, is 134°F (56.7°C) taken on July 10, 1913 at Greenland Ranch. That reading still stands as the hottest ever recorded on the planet's surface, according to the WMO.