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New February Heat Record for the Northern Hemisphere Set

By: Christopher C. Burt, 10:20 PM GMT on March 02, 2013

New February Heat Record for the Northern Hemisphere Set

On February 27, Abu Na’Ama, Sudan measured a temperature of 44.5°C (112.1°F), the warmest reliably measured temperature on record for the month of February anywhere in the northern hemisphere.

The previous record was 44.4°C (111.9°F) measured at Kayes, Mali and also at Kiffa, Mauritania on earlier dates. There are three reported higher February temperatures I am aware of from the colonial period (1924-1940) including 47.2°C (117.0°F) at Bamako, Mali, 46.1°C (115°F) at Abecher, Chad, and 45.0°C (113.0°F) at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. All of these are not reliable as little is known about the exposure of the thermometers (see comment below from Max). The Bamako figure is especially unlikely since its January record for this POR was just 41.7°C (107°F) and for March 42.8°C (109°F). February is not normally their hottest month.

The heat wave has also affected Ghana where Navrongo reached 42.7°C (108.9°F) on March 1st. This is close to the all-time record high temperature for the country (any month) of 43.0°C (109.4°F) also set at Navrongo on an earlier date (this is an update, see comment below from Max). Record heat also engulfed the Arabian Peninsula on February 24 and 25 when Makah (Mecca) hit 39.2°C (102.6°F). This is the warmest February temperature on record for the Arabian Peninsula (the normal high temperature in February here is 29°C/85°F).

Southeast Asia and southern China have also been experiencing unusual warmth recently. On February 28th Prome, Myanmar (Burma) reached 41.4°C (106.5°F), not too far from the Asian continental February record of 42.8°C (109.0°F) set at Broach, Gujarat State, India on February 28, 1953.

KUDOS: Thanks to Maximiliano Herrera for the above information.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Heat Extreme Weather Mini Blog

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Ghana absolute record is 43.0C. 43.9C was found indeed to be an error while converting an original reading in Fahreneit of 109F (recorded in 1956) to 43.9c instead 42.8C.
Everything is known about the horrible screens used at those times in most stations. Everything is available in the original books. Of course there are thousands of data as high as 50C even for January, with overestimating of 5C to 10C or even more. The three cases mentioned are just random cases amongst dozens of thousands , but I have reviewed all data station by station year by year month by month day by day of all stations existed in Africa since the first observations in mid-700 (when Bamako was called Bammako with a 3C reported in an unscreened thermometer). Little is known just for people who don't know ;-)
Hi Chris,
An interesting report, thanks!
We'll have to see how the WMO interpret the Abu Na'Ama data, if recognize the 112.1F temp as accurate / reliable. Curious sleuthing of limited available online data seems to bring it into question.

Listed Sudan Weather Summary page Feb 27 2013, shows the possible record 44.5C / 112.1F reading occurred at 18Z -
ABU NA'AMA.........................12Z: 43.0C cloudy...
ABU NA'AMA.........................18Z: 44.5C cloudy...
ABU NA'AMA.........................21Z: 32.0C cloudy...

However daily data from Abu Na'Ama station 62795 Feb 27 2013 at 18Z (reports infrequently at 3-6 hr intervals), shows warmest reading as 43.0C at 12Z, with 35.5C at 18Z, not 44.5C... and more consistent trend with the 32.0C reading 3 hrs later at 21Z. Did not find another report during peak heating hours ~ 09-15Z when 2-3F higher seems plausible.

Another station source I often use - "Synop Information for 62795 in Abu Na'Ama, Sudan" - their CSV file, past 7 days station 62795 data also supports an error occurred in the reported record 112.1F, actual high 109.4F / 43.0C at 12Z.

2013-02-24 06:00:00,1010.96,77.9,,,4,20,,,,,,
2013-02-25 15:00:00,1006.05,104.0,51.8,17,5,320,,,,,,
2013-02-26 06:00:00,1010.64,82.6,48.2,30,3,320,,,,,,
2013-02-26 12:00:00,1007.61,106.7,52.7,17,4,160,,,,,,
2013-02-27 00:00:00,1007.61,91.4,48.2,22,7,340,,,,,,
2013-02-27 12:00:00,1006.88,109.4,42.8,10,5,70,,,,,,
2013-02-27 18:00:00,1006.99,95.9,46.4,18,4,360,,,,,,
2013-02-27 21:00:00,1007.61,89.6,47.3,23,3,360,,,,,,
2013-02-28 03:00:00,1018.26,81.5,43.7,26,3,20,,,,,,
2013-02-28 06:00:00,1008.87,86.0,42.8,22,4,360,,,,,,
2013-02-28 18:00:00,1006.99,95.0,41.0,15,4,360,,,,,,
2013-03-01 00:00:00,1007.41,83.3,38.3,20,5,20,,,,,,
2013-03-01 09:00:00,1008.66,100.4,44.6,15,4,20,,,,,,
2013-03-01 18:00:00,1007.61,94.1,41.9,16,7,20,,,,,,
2013-03-02 12:00:00,1007.51,105.8,44.6,12,7,360,,,,,,
2013-03-02 18:00:00,1008.55,92.3,47.3,21,0,0,,,,,,
2013-03-03 00:00:00,1008.24,84.2,44.6,25,1,360,,,,,,

Either way, I concur it's been hot across Cen Africa of late.

using the tools of weather underground, I want to find out how much snow we have had since January 2013 and todate?
weatherhistorian has created a new entry.