The U.N. weather agency says it suspects a 54-degree Celsius (129.2 Fahrenheit) temperature recorded in Kuwait has set a record for the eastern hemisphere.

The World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday it is setting up a committee to look into whether the temperature recorded Thursday in Mitrabah, Kuwait, was a new high for the hemisphere and in Asia. WMO's Omar Baddour says it's "likely" to be an eastern hemisphere record.

Last week, swaths of North Africa and the Middle East were hit by heatwaves that have become more frequent over the last half-century, and Earth is fresh off the hottest six months on record.

WMO says the world record high of 56.7 Celsius (134 Fahrenheit) was recorded at Furnace Creek in Death Valley, California, in 1913.