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Incredible Heat Wave in China, Greenland Record

By: Christopher C. Burt, 9:17 PM GMT on July 31, 2013

Incredible Heat Wave in China, Greenland Record

While a lot of attention (justified) has been spent on the record heat in Siberia and Europe this past month, the actual big story so far this summer is the heat wave in eastern China. This July will go down as the hottest ever measured for places like Shanghai, Changsha, and Hangzhou. Records for Shanghai date back to 1873 and no such heat has ever been observed there or in much of Eastern China. BREAKING NEWS: Greenland has just reported its warmest temperature on record.

The provinces most affected by the heat this past July are Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Hunan, Jiangxi and, of course, Shanghai. The population of these five provinces is about 314 million, more than the population of the entire United States.



Map outlining the provinces of China. Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Hunan, Jiangxi and, Shanghai have been most affected by the heat wave.

The core of the heat has been centered over Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, and China’s 4th largest metropolitan area with about 21.1 million residents. The average July temperature for Hangzhou (records begin in 1956) is 28.9°C (84.1°F) with an average high of 33.0°C (91.4°F) and low of 24.9°C (76.8°F). This past July has averaged 32.4°C (90.3°F), some 3.5°C (6.2°F) above normal, and by far the warmest single month on record for the city. An all-time absolute maximum temperature of 40.5°C (104.9°F) was set on both July 30th and July 27th. The previous record was 40.3°C (104.5°F) set on August 1, 2003 (there is a mistaken figure of 42.2°C/108.0°F from July 6, 1960 that has proven to be a clerical error). What is astonishing is that there were SIX days in July that measured 40°C (104°F) or warmer and, prior to this July, 40°+ has only been measured twice in the city’s weather history (records began in 1956)—both during the summer of 2003. At least 10 deaths have been directly attributed to the heat wave although the actual figure is probably much higher if one were to look at mortality rates relative to normal for the past month.



Climate table for Hangzhou, China July 2013. Note the lowest temperature for the month was just 25.0°C (77.0°F), that should be the average low for every day in a typical July. Also note how dry it has been with just 9.4mm (0.38") versus an normal July precipitation of about 167mm (6.70"). The lack of any tropical storm activity is the reason for this. OGIMET.

Shanghai has also broken its all-time record high with a 40.6°C (105.1°F) on Friday July 26th. They had a daily minimum of just 31.3°C (88.3°F) on July 30th. The temperature reached or exceeded 35°C (95°F) for 25 days of the month. Like Hangzhou, this past July has been the warmest month on record for Shanghai (where climate data began in 1873).

In fact, it is likely that this July has been the warmest on record for virtually every site in the eastern Chinese provinces listed above. Ningbo City, located on the coastline east of Hangzhou reached 42.7°C (108.9°F) on July 26th, the warmest temperature ever measured at any coastal location in Eastern or Southeastern Asia. Numerous, too many to list, other cities have reported all-time record maximum temperatures and warmest month on record.



The heat wave has been a boon to China’s beach resorts, as can bee seen in this photo above taken in Dalian on July 21st. Photo from Global News.

Keep in mind that the July climate for this region would be similar to that of the Washington D.C. area except more humid, since the Yellow Sea has very high SST’s during the summer. Normally, typhoons would be making occasional landfalls along the central coast this time of year and bring relief to the brutal heat. That has not been the case this summer and, along with the heat, drought conditions have developed.

The heat is continuing unabated and, in fact, is predicted to intensify and spread north and west this coming week.

BREAKING NEWS: Greenland has just measured its hottest temperature on record July 30th with a reading of 25.9°C (78.6°F) at Maniitoq Mittarfia during a foehn event. The previous Greenland record was 25.5°C (77.9°F) at Kangerlussuaq on July 27, 1990.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Heat

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

Thanks Christopher!
Thanks Chris!
MIttarfia (Mittarfik) means airport in Greenlandic Inuit language
Bad situation in China. We'll probably never know the actual death toll.
maxcrc,
don't be pointing that out... WUWT will be claiming it is nothing but a UHI effect because of the tarmac....
Quoting 5. Flakmeister:
maxcrc,
don't be pointing that out... WUWT will be claiming it is nothing but a UHI effect because of the tarmac....


If one reads the excellent analysis of the event by the Danish Met office (this is linked in my blog) one can see that the the high temp was the result of a local foehn-like wind event which occasionally occur at this site. The airport tarmac would have had little or nothing to do with the reading, it's not Newark, NJ!
Also Greenland has less than 60,000 people in the whole territory. Greenland doesn't have a town large enough to have an urban heat island effect.
Quoting 4. bappit:
Bad situation in China. We'll probably never know the actual death toll.


Probably not. All those packed cities, the humidity, the smog and the unrelenting nature of the heat this summer! Probably tens of thousands of premature deaths or more.
Quoting 5. Flakmeister:
maxcrc,
don't be pointing that out... WUWT will be claiming it is nothing but a UHI effect because of the tarmac....


WUWT whoever he is , would just show how pathetic he is, since the temperature was recorded late in the afternoon with very little sun irradiation (also because the latitude), it was all effect of the downslope winds from northeast descending towards the coast.

Who is WUWT ?
@maxcrc WUWT is "Watts Up With That"...it's Anthony Watts' climate change denial website. He uses every tactic available, from cherry picking data (to claim there has been no warming since 98) to outright lies. The comment referring to the UHI effect due to tarmac was a joke...because WUWT is a joke.
Regarding Greenland, one must keep in mind that the database table is only going back to 1958 (as stated by the DMI-website). There are (disputed) older figures, the highest to my knowledge is the 30.1°C at Ivigtut 23 June 1915. This is a link to a page in the DMI-yearbook.


http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=23887 01

It is likely a reading error (5°C?) but the general weather conditions were very favourable for high temperatures on this particular day. The 20c reanalysis shows this with 500/1000 hPa thickness near 5600 meters at 18utc. Possibly it was higher still.

The newspage of the DMI mentions that a reflection of sunlight from the surface of the sea as a might-be contrebution to the high temperture, the google raw translation goes so (the words within the bracets is my addition - "also" is mistranslated ):
"Station Maniitsoq / Sugar Loaf Mountain is also [as a matter of fact situatet by] the sea and sun reflection in the sea in the afternoon may have made ​​a contribution to the high temperatures".
mxcrc,

WUWT is notorious source of disinformation that is the refuge of climate change deniers and their ilk. There are well known ties to the Heartland Institute, hence, fossil fuel interests. Anthony Watts, who runs the site, has claimed that the observed global warming is only due to UHI...

If you want your head to explode, read the comments section sometime. Posters with disagreeing views are routinely censored or banned, moderators will act as sock puppets...
Since June we have seen record-breaking heat in Alaska, the U.S. Southwest, Eastern China, Greenland, Northern Russia, (more?).

Incredible...
I love the concept of landfalling typhoons bringing "relief".
Chris, thought you would like to see this post:

Quoting 99. fabian171017:
After a short break of the intense heatwave in Middle Europe early this week, extreme heat continues throughout the weekend. The highest recorded temperature of 39.7°C in 1983 in Austria was surpassed by 0.2°C today - 39.9°C were measured in Carinthia. Drought conditions are already spreading across much of the country. Since the heatwave is expected to last for at least an additional week, and hot and dry conditions are expected to persist even thereafter, a complete loss of the crop yield is feared. Especially the corn crop is threatened, as 70% are estimated to be destroyed already.
Quoting 11. hungurdiskar:
Regarding Greenland, one must keep in mind that the database table is only going back to 1958 (as stated by the DMI-website). There are (disputed) older figures, the highest to my knowledge is the 30.1C at Ivigtut 23 June 1915. This is a link to a page in the DMI-yearbook.


http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=23887 01

It is likely a reading error (5C?) but the general weather conditions were very favourable for high temperatures on this particular day. The 20c reanalysis shows this with 500/1000 hPa thickness near 5600 meters at 18utc. Possibly it was higher still.

The newspage of the DMI mentions that a reflection of sunlight from the surface of the sea as a might-be contrebution to the high temperture, the google raw translation goes so (the words within the bracets is my addition - "also" is mistranslated ):
"Station Maniitsoq / Sugar Loaf Mountain is also [as a matter of fact situatet by] the sea and sun reflection in the sea in the afternoon may have made %u200B%u200Ba contribution to the high temperatures".


No, the data starts in late 800s, I have all old data and the previous record before 1990 was 25.3C.
The 30.1c IS a JOKE, A FAKE.
I checked the original data and this 30.1C DOESN;'T EXIST in June, but it is in APRIL 1915 , it was TYPO ERROR from an original 20.1C.
In June 1915 conditions WERE NOT FAVORABLE, it's completely false, since the fake record was just a typo record in an April day.Ivigtut has never recorded above 23C in over a century.
Quoting 11. hungurdiskar:
Regarding Greenland, one must keep in mind that the database table is only going back to 1958 (as stated by the DMI-website). There are (disputed) older figures, the highest to my knowledge is the 30.1C at Ivigtut 23 June 1915. This is a link to a page in the DMI-yearbook.


http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=23887 01

It is likely a reading error (5C?) but the general weather conditions were very favourable for high temperatures on this particular day. The 20c reanalysis shows this with 500/1000 hPa thickness near 5600 meters at 18utc. Possibly it was higher still.

The newspage of the DMI mentions that a reflection of sunlight from the surface of the sea as a might-be contrebution to the high temperture, the google raw translation goes so (the words within the bracets is my addition - "also" is mistranslated ):
"Station Maniitsoq / Sugar Loaf Mountain is also [as a matter of fact situatet by] the sea and sun reflection in the sea in the afternoon may have made %u200B%u200Ba contribution to the high temperatures".


This is all fake. The same fake about "amazing conditions" In september 1922 for Azizia, or for the fake Death Valley 134F and all the other lies.

The fake and obviously impossible 30.1C was recorded in APRIL 1915 not in June.
I have checked the ORIGINAL BOOK of observations.

April 22: 20,0/6,0
April 23: 30,1/6,8
April 24: 19,2/9,7

On 23 June the conditions were normal with temperatures of about 15C.
In April instead there were warm days, but the observer miswrote a 2 with a 3 , 30.1C instead 20.1C

I don';t understand why if an observer is drunk or incompetent , somebody should invent a fake national record of temperature.

THERE ARE NO HIGHER FIGURES.
Before the 25.5C record set at Sondre Stromjord in July 1990, the previous record was 25.3C recorded at Angmagssalik in June 1942.
Any other reading above this is a SCAM. Scams used by people to push their negationist agenda inventing FALSE records just because a drunk observer wasn't able to distinguish a 2 by a 3 after too many beers.
That's a shame and a disgrace for climatology.
The Human collective is a complicated one.

And now with this ever increasing connectivity, the Hive Mind is not taking the BS from the Fossil Fuel Funded denial machine at all any more.

Everything around you, now think about this carefully, is from Human thought. Everything save for the Natural World.

Now that we've become all we can be in a way, we have to evolve, or our current way of life,brought about by Human thought, will definitely destroy us all.

First of all, AGW/CLimate Change denialist don't matter, and they NEVER have.

People say we can't affect the Planet.

Well I beg to differ, as we have the complete and Final means of destruction 40,000 times over.

That's the approx number of Nuclear Warheads on the Planet currently.

We must evolve in a Mindful way.

Fractures are everywhere, we know things almost in real time that can tip the Balance in a day.

Hold close the thought of evolving.

If not, well, the future is warm, Dim,and short maybe.

Just food for "thought".
weatherhistorian has created a new entry.
Regarding the Ivigtut 30°C in 1915. The date is 23 June - not April according to the DMI-yearbook. According to the 20c-reanalysis the conditions were favourable on that particular day in June. I don't know where this April-typo nonsense started - because according to the yearbook the maximum temperature in Ivigtut on 23 April day was 0.4°C. Other temperatures measured on 23 June are: 10.6 (at 8am), 17.6 (at 14pm) and 21.0 (at 21pm). The maximum is given as 30.1°C and the morning minumum read on 23 June 8am is 6.8°C. Skies are clear the whole day. As I mentioned in my earlier comment the maxmimum reading is probably in error (possibly by 5°C) - but please leave an April-typo out of this discussion. All the DMI-yearbooks for Iceland and Greenland 1873 to 1919 are available in pdf format online at

http://timarit.is

Look up Meteorologisk Aarbog in the alphabetic list, to reach the relevant page takes some effort.