CALIFORNIA - What could be the highest temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth - 130F (54.4C) - has been reached in Death Valley National Park in California.

The recording is being verified by the US National Weather Service.

It comes amid a heatwave on the US's west coast, where temperatures are forecast to rise further this week.

The scorching conditions have led to two days of blackouts in California, after a power plant malfunctioned on Saturday.

Sunday's reading was recorded in Furnace Creek in Death Valley.

Before this, the hottest temperature reliably recorded on Earth was 129.2F (54C) - also in Death Valley in 2013.

A higher reading of 134F, or 56.6C a century earlier, also in Death Valley, is believed by modern weather experts to have been erroneous, along with several other searing temperatures recorded that summer.

According to a 2016 analysis from weather historian Christopher Burt, other temperatures in the region recorded in 1913 do not corroborate the Death Valley reading.

Another record temperature for the planet - 131F, or 55C - was recorded in Tunisia in 1931, but Mr Burt said this reading, as well as others recorded in Africa during the colonial era, had "serious credibility issues".(FA)