First, Cerveny asks local weather scientists to collect information about the event, such as pictures and records. Then experts study the data to determine if the record is valid.
Investigations can take months to complete. For the Death Valley case, a team is verifying the equipment that measured the record.
To Cerveny, climate change makes his work even more important. “In order to understand how our world is changing,” he says, “we need to be able to monitor it precisely.”