Geographer Randy Cerveny heads up an ad hoc committee of the World Meteorological Organisation tasked with validating weather records:
Since 2007, Cerveny has been in charge of organizing ad hoc committees to independently verify superlative weather measurements — such as the highest ocean wave or the strongest wind gust.
Now, when a new contender for a record appears, he gathers the top experts in any given subject.
"If we're looking at temperature, I'm going to get some of the best scientists that have looked at temperature across the world. If we're looking at hurricanes, I'll get hurricane experts. If I'm looking at tornadoes, I'll get tornado experts," he says.
Already, the new 54.4°C measurement in Death Valley has started to be scrutinized, by meteorologists from the local weather office to the National Climate Extremes Committee, all the way up to the World Meteorological Organization.
"We're in the process right now of getting ahold of the actual raw information, the raw data itself," says Cerveny. "My committee will then go over it with a fine-tooth comb and look for any problems or any concerns that they might have."
"I'm hoping that we would have a decision by sometime this winter," he adds.
We'll stay tuned, then.