Hot News About This Summer

Taking a Closer Look at This Summer's Extreme Heat

January 29, 2019
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July 2018 may have been the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, as several locations in the Northern Hemisphere recorded their hottest temperatures ever. Similarly, temperatures during the Southern Hemisphere winter were unusually mild this year. Let’s take a look at some of the heat records broken this summer.

Record Heat Around the World

On July 5, Ouargla, Algeria, reported a temperature of 124.3°F (51.3°C). Although a temperature of 131°F (55°C) was reported in Kebili, Tunisia, on July 7, 1931, this report has never been verified or accepted as an official record. Thus the Ouargla temperature, if verified, would be the hottest official temperature ever reported in Africa, surpassing by 1 degree F the previous record of 123.3°F (50.7°C) reached in Morocco on July 13, 1961.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, the highest temperature ever recorded was 134.1°F (56.7°C) on July 10, 1913, in Furnace Creek, California. Some have questioned the validity of this reading and, if it is overturned, Earth’s all-time high temperature would be the 129.2°F (54°C) recorded at Death Valley, California, on June 30, 2013; at Mitribah, Kuwait, on July 21, 2016, and at Ahvaz, Iran, on June 29, 2017.

Death Valley. Photo by Fyletto/Getty Images.
The colorful cliffs of Death Valley, California. Photo by Fyletto/Getty Images.

Meanwhile, along the coast of the Arctic Ocean in northern Siberia, temperatures rose to over 90°F on July 5, 2018, more than 40 degrees above normal high temperatures and among the largest summertime temperature anomalies ever reported.

All-time record highs were also set in Eurasian and Middle Eastern cities, including …

  • 104.9°F (40.5°C) in Tbilisi, Georgia, on July 4
  • 107.6°F (42°C) in Yerevan, Armenia, on July 2
  • 109°F (42.6°C) for the low temperature in Qurayyat, Oman, on June 28—the hottest low temperature ever recorded anywhere on Earth

In Europe, Ireland was especially hot, with all-time record highs reported on June 28 in Shannon at 89.6°F (32°C) and Belfast, Northern Ireland, at 85.1°F (29.5°C). Glasgow, Scotland, also reported its hottest day on record, reaching 89.4°F (31.9°C) on June 28.

In North America, record heat also abounded in late June and early July:

  • Many locations in southern California had their hottest day ever on July 6, including 111°F on the University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) campus.
  • Denver, Colorado, tied its all-time high temperature record of 105°F on June 28.
  • Burlington, Vermont, and Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, had their warmest low temperatures ever recorded on July 2, at 80° and 60°F, respectively.
  • Montreal, Quebec, reported its all-time record high temperature on July 2, at 97.9°F (36.6°C). The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) reported at least 54 deaths in southern Quebec due to the extreme heat.

July 2018 was also the 402nd consecutive month when average Earth temperatures were greater than the 30-year normal—this means ever since February 1985, when Ronald Reagan was president.

Did your area experience a heat wave this summer? How hot did it get? Let us know in the comments!

About This Blog

Mike Steinberg is Senior Vice President for Special Initiatives at AccuWeather Inc in State College, Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the National Weather Association and the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

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