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Spectacle of record heat draws visitors to Death Valley

Death Valley National Park came up just shy of a record on Monday.

The high temperature reached 127 degrees at 3 p.m., according to the park’s website.

On Sunday, a yet-unofficial temperature of 130 degrees was recorded.

The National Weather Service said in a statement that “if verified, this will be the hottest temperature officially verified since July of 1913, also at Death Valley.”

The World Meteorological Organization will verify the reading. If confirmed it would be the highest temperature on Earth since 1931, according to a WMO tweet.

The weather service said the 130 degrees was recorded at 3:41 p.m. at Furnace Creek near the visitors center “using a National Weather Service owned automated observation system.”

Some visitors to the park on Monday were there just for the experience of the high heat.

“I enjoy the heat,” said Steve Krofchik of Las Vegas, who stood outside Furnace Creek Visitor Center for hours to watch the thermometer hit the highest temperature of the day. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Jennifer Bailard is a physical scientist for Mojave Desert Network. She previously worked at Death Valley and came out with a coworker.

“When I left Death Valley I promised myself I would come back when the temperature hit 130,” she said.

Friends Margie Owens and George Harris traveled to Death Valley from Mission Viejo, California. They had visited on the hottest day in 2010, when it reached 128 degrees.

John Moore, a San Diego tourist, came out with his 12-year-old daughter, Katie.

“We’ve been coming to Death Valley for a long time and thought it would be cool to be here when a record is broken,” he said.

Review-Journal photographer Ellen Schmidt contributed to this report.

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