Death Valley: California set to hit 130 DEGREES – 'hottest temperature EVER recorded'

The 3,000-square-mile area in the northern Mojave Desert recorded its second-highest temperature July 12 at 128 degrees Fahrenheit (53C). This was a peak following four successive days that witnessed heat readings of 120 degrees, 124 degrees, 128 degrees and 124 degrees respectively.

Sunday saw what is the highest recorded temperature anywhere on Earth since 2017.

Although the official weather station in the area recorded 128F, a photo taken at the aptly named Furnace Creek Visitor Center read 129F.

Sunday’s sizzling high is part of a heatwave currently hovering over the Southwest of the US.

The ‘heat dome’ is anticipated to expand east and northwards later in the week.

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The temperature hit 129.2F (54C) on June 30, 2013, but there is some dispute in the meteorological community about the “real” hottest temperature recorded on the planet.

Official records show the marker came in 1913 when the temperature hit 134F (56.6C).

However, a 2016 analysis by weather historian Christopher Burt claims this record is “essentially not possible from a meteorological perspective.”

A number of daily records in other places were broken on Sunday including an all-time high 116F (46.6C) at Borger, Texas, near Amarillo.

In total, 50 million Americans across the southern US are now reportedly under Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories according.

The area stretches 1,700 miles (2,735km) from Southern California’s deserts across to Panama City on the Florida Panhandle.

More than 19 million Americans are under excessive heat warnings in the Southwest alone, along with parts of Texas and Louisiana.

This suggests temperatures greater than 120F (49C) in California and Arizona deserts in the coming weeks can be expected.

Even along the coast in Louisiana, high temperatures coupled with humidity could see temperatures close to 115F (46C).

The heat dome sees sunny skies and dry air sinking through the atmosphere. As it does so, it warms up and produces more heat.

Over the next few days, the heat dome may start to weaken but also begin to move northwards.

Although such heat waves are common in the summer, experts fear them to become even more frequent as man-made climate change begins to bite.

As global temperature averages increase, so too do heat extremes.