(NEWSER) – Temperature records melted away in the city of Ahvaz, Iran Thursday—French agency MeteoFrance estimates the afternoon temperature at a sweltering 128.7 Fahrenheit, which is the hottest temperature ever recorded in Iran. But Weather Underground data suggested it went even higher, to 129.2 Fahrenheit or 54 Celsius, reports Mashable, which would tie the record for the hottest temperature recorded in modern times. The temp would need verification by the World Meteorological Organization. Only the 134 degrees recorded in California’s Death Valley on July 10, 1913, is higher, and experts including Weather Underground historian Christopher Burt believe the novice weather observer who recorded that temperature probably made a mistake, USA Today reports.
The higher figure for Ahvaz would tie the temperature recorded in Kuwait last year and in Death Valley in 2013. Either way, the city of 1.1 million people was a lot warmer than the average steam room on Thursday even before factoring in the humidity, which brought the heat index to more than 140, higher than the index at the US National Weather Service measures, the Washington Post reports. Weather Underground notes that the brutal temperatures in Iran come a month after another heat wave set temperature records in other parts of Asia, including Pakistan, where the 128.3 recorded in the town of Turbat was a record for the country in May and tied with its hottest on record. (It was too hot for planes to take off in Phoenix last week.)