Saturday, July 23, 2016

Two Middle East locations hit 54 C this week — world record for heat

The temperature in Mitribah, Kuwait, surged Thursday to a blistering 54 C. And on Friday in Basra, Iraq, the mercury soared to 53.9. If confirmed, these incredible measurements would represent the two hottest temperatures ever recorded in the Eastern Hemisphere.

It’s also possible that Mitribah’s 54 C reading matches the hottest ever reliably measured anywhere in the world. Both Mitribah and Basra’s readings are likely the highest ever recorded outside of Death Valley, California.

If you discard the Death Valley record from 1913, the 54 C reading from Mitribah Thursday would tie the world’s highest known temperature. Air temperatures of about 38 C combined with astronomical humidity levels have pushed heat index values, which reflect how hot the air feels, literally off the charts. In Fujairah, on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates, the dew point — a measure of humidity — reached 32 C at 4 p.m. local time Thursday. The 90-degree dew point, combined with the air temperature of 36 C, computes to a heat index of over 60 C.

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