After adjacent thermometers showed conflicting temperatures Sunday at Death Valley National Park, park rangers this morning resolved the debate over the precise peak temperature reached.
According to the National Weather Service, Sunday's highest temperature was 129 degrees, making it the hottest June temperature ever recorded in the U.S. The soaring temperature also beat out the park's hottest temperature from last summer by one degree, according to park officials.
"It's early for us to have these temperatures in June," said park spokeswoman Cheryl Chipman. "We hope getting to 129 this early in the season is not foreboding."
The National Weather Service's mercury thermometer had indicated 128 degrees at 4 p.m. Sunday, matching the record for the hottest June day anywhere in the U.S.
More than 200 yards away, the National Park Service's thermometer showed 129.9 degrees.
The uncertainty over the precise measurement left a small crowd of visitors to the park's headquarters sweating in anticipation -- and frustration.
Park officials said the mercury thermometer offers the only official temperature reading. The delay in certifying the peak temperature came about because the 8 a.m. daily reading shows the highest temperature for the last 24 hours.
The highest temperature ever recorded on the planet was in Death Valley on July 10, 1913 — 134 degrees.
Death Valley will commemorate the 100th anniversary of that mark with a celebration next week.