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Taking a Closer Look at This Summer's Extreme Heat

August 16, 2018
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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!

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

I think alot of this "climate

I think alot of this "climate change has a lot to do with all the destroying of trees ,wildlife, forests etc. for building of manmade structures. The trees are being destroyed and not replaced. We need trees to make our oxygen but we destroy it all for the all mighty dollar.

Climate change

Unfortunately Koch Brothers right wing agenda has pushed climate change denying propaganda. Despite 97% agreement in the scientific community. Exxon new about green house gas and global warming since the 70’s and buried it, then denied it.
Know this, CLIMATE CHANGE is an existential threat to the future of humanity. It may not affect you in your lifetime (I live in CA and we’re on fire) but your kids, grandkids will pay the price for inaction today.
Vote Blue 2018 SAVE HUMANITY

climate change

Dear Julie: There is no such thing as climate change. Nothing at all. Man wants to play God and determine that they alone can make a difference in how climate affects us and try to change it. It will never work and it never has. We've been in climate change for all of our lives as climate changes each and every day according to God's will, not man's. You'd be better off to concentrate on your life and your family and go with the flow of weather as there's nothing you or man can do about it. It is what it is.

Head in Sand

I am thankful that my critical thinking skills are good enough to keep me from basing my life on mythology. But I suppose in your opinion, global climate change is Noah's revenge. How sad for you.

High temperature

On July 6th this year it was 115 in Riverside Ca.

115°F

The Editors's picture

Thanks, Bob! We hear about and watch the weather in California with great concern. Appreciate your taking the time to read the page—and write in!

Climate change

Global warming has been happening since the ice ages

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