There's hot, and then there's 129.2 degrees Fahrenheit hot.
Ahvaz, Iran, which is a city of 1.1 million people in the country's southwest desert region, appears to have set not only Iran's hottest temperature on record Thursday, but also set a record for June heat in all of mainland Asia.
It also may have tied the all-time global heat record.
A temperature reading of 53.7 degrees Celsius, or 128.7 degrees Fahrenheit, was reported in Ahvaz by Etienne Kapikian, a meteorologist at MeteoFrance.
Kapikian posted a tweet saying that level of heat was a "new absolute national record of reliable Iranian heat" and that it was the hottest temperature ever recorded in June across mainland Asia.
Iran's previous hottest temperature was 127.4 degrees Fahrenheit. According to Weather Underground, the temperature Kapikian cited was not actually the highest reading that Ahvaz reached on Thursday.
At 4:51 p.m. local time, Weather Underground's website showed the temperature in Ahvaz climbed to 129.2 degrees Fahrenheit, with a heat index at an almost unimaginably hot 142.1 degrees.
If verified, this would tie the all-time heat record for anywhere in the Eastern Hemisphere.
As the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang blog points out, if further investigation proves that the 129.2-degree reading is accurate, "... It would arguably tie the hottest temperature ever reliably measured on Earth."
Christopher Burt, a weather historian for Weather Underground, has found that two 129.2-degree Fahrenheit readings are likely the hottest reliably recorded temperatures worldwide. One of these records was set just last year in nearby Mitribah, Kuwait.
The World Meteorological Organisation, a UN agency, will need to review the 129.2-degree reading to determine if the thermometer used was reliable, and validate the all-time Iranian record as well as the mainland Asia record.
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