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Hottest Temperature Ever Measured in September for Europe

By: Christopher C. Burt, 7:30 AM GMT on September 07, 2016

Hottest Temperature Ever Measured in September for Europe

LATE UPDATE: An intense heat wave has occurred in recent days in the Iberian Peninsula with a site in Spain, Sanlucar La Mayor, measuring 46.4°C (115.5°F) on Monday, September 5th. This (if verified) would be the hottest temperature ever observed anywhere in Europe during the month of September. THE SANLUCAR LA MAYOR TEMPERATURE IS APPEARING DUBIOUS. HOWEVER, THE 45.7°C (114.3°F) REPORTED FROM MONTORO, SPAIN MAY BE RELIABLE AND THUS A NEW SEPTEMBER HEAT RECORD FOR EUROPE REGARDLESS. Portugal broke its September monthly heat record with 45.0°C (113.0°F) at Lousa Airport on September 6th. A few days earlier amazing heat also prevailed in the Middle East with Mitribah, Kuwait reaching 51.2°C (124.2°F) on September 4th. This would be the 2nd hottest temperature ever reliably measured on Earth during the month of September. France and the U.K. also noted record heat for September. Here are some more details.



The solar tower plants in Sanlucar la Mayor, Spain had plenty of fuel on September 5th when the temperature at a nearby site may have set a new European monthly heat record of 46.4°C (115.5°F) on September 5th if valid. Photo from Wikicommons.

Spain, Portugal, and Morocco September 4-6

An intense dome of upper-level high pressure centered over southwestern Europe (with the 0°C isotherm as high as 5100 meters measured over Nimes in southern France) has resulted in an unprecedented September heat wave in Spain, Portugal, and parts of Morocco. On September 5th the Spanish site of Sanlucar la Mayor (an agrometeorological station which is in a way the equivalent of a ‘COOP’ site in the U.S.) measured 46.4°C (115.5°F). If valid, this would be the hottest temperature ever observed in Europe during September, surpassing the (possibly unreliable) reading of 45.6°C (114.1°F) measured at San Severo, Italy (in the Apulia region) during September 1946. At first order weather sites the maximum temperature measured was 45.7°C (114.3°F) at Montoro, Spain which would be a new European record even if the Sanlucar La Mayor value was disallowed. As we look at the data from Sanlucar la Mayor it is becoming apparent that this was likely a dubious measurement.



The daily climate table for September 5th at Sanlucar La Mayor (population 15,000) located in southern Spain about 30 miles (50 km) due west of Seville. Table courtesy of Jerome Reynaud from this Spanish met site.



Sanlucar La Mayor is located in the Andalucia region of southern Spain. The lower elevations of Sevilla Province (as well as nearby Cordoba Province), are known for their intense summer heat. Utrera co-holds the record for highest ‘likely’ reliably measured temperature in Spain: 48.0°C (118.4°F) on July 23, 1995 and is in Sevilla Province (Utrera reached 45.7°C/114.3°F on September 5th). Temperatures as high as 50°C (122°F) and 51°C (123.8°F) were reported from the city of Seville in the 19th century (on July 30, 1876 and August 4, 1881) but are considered suspect due to exposure issues.

On September 4th extreme heat was also observed at Seville (44.8°C/112.6°F) and Cordoba with a 45.7°C (114.2°F). The airport at the popular island and tourist destination of Ibiza observed 38.4°C (101.1°F) which smashed its previous all-time (any month) record of 36.6°C (97.9°F). Madrid peaked at a steamy 39.6°C (103.3°F) at its Getafe site on September 5th.

In Portugal a new September monthly heat record was broken at Lousa Airport on September 6th with a 45.0°C (113.0°F), the previous national record (prior to this heat wave) being 44.2°C (111.6°F) at the town of Beja. An all-time (any month) heat record was established at Setubal also on September 5th with a 43.5°C (110.3°F) reading. Lisbon peaked at 38.5°C (101.3°F) on September 4th. The hottest temperature ever reliably measured in Portugal was 47.4°C (117.3°F) at Amareleja during the famous deadly heat wave of August 2003. Across the Strait of Girbraltar, the airport at Fez, in Morocco achieved its all-time (any month) heat record with a 45.1°C (113.2°F) on September 4th.

Wild fires in the region have prompted some inflammatory headlines in Europe such as this from a U.K. newspaper “Europe in Flames as huge wildfires rage out of control in Portugal, France, and Spain." This is an on-going situation as I write so am not able to comment in more detail about the fires at this time.

The Middle East

During the first four days of this month (September 2016) incredible heat was once again endured in Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and many of the Emirate states. The absolute value (once again) fell to Mitribah, Kuwait where 51.2°C (124.2°F) was observed on September 4th. This (if valid) would be the 2nd hottest temperature ever reliably measured on Earth during the month of September, following a 126°F (52.2°C) reading at Mecca, California (in the Salton Depression) on September 1, 1950. Even Death Valley has never been able to achieve a higher temperature in September warmer than 123°F.



Mitribah, Kuwait is an automated weather station located in what is considered the hottest spot in that country. Just last July a potential new Asian heat record of 54.0°C (129.2°F) was measured here on July 21st. Image from Google Earth.

Aside from Kuwait’s national monthly record for September (but included in the list below) were these other monthly national records (for September) established at:

Kuwait 51.2°C (124.2°F) Mitribah on Sept. 4

UAE (United Arab Emirates) 51.1°C (124.0°F) at Mukhariz on Sept. 3

Iran 50.2°C (122.4°F) at Mehran on Sept. 1

Iraq 49.6°C (121.3°F) at Nasiriya Sept. 1

Qatar 49.0°C (120.2°F) at Batna and Shahaniyah on Sept. 2

Saudi Arabia 48.9°C (120.0°F) at Al Ahsa on Sept. 1


The climatological summer (June-August) of 2016 was the warmest (or tied for such) at the following U.S.A. sites

Below is a list of some significant U.S. sites with long-term POR’s (periods of record) that measured their hottest climatological summer (June-August) on record this past summer (2016):

Anchorage, Alaska: 60.7° (previous 60.2° in 2015)

Bishop, California: 77.5° (previous 76.8° in 1994)

Palm Springs, California: 93.6° (previous 93.2° in 1994)

Death Valley, California: 103.3° (previous 102.6° in 2013 and 2007. The 103.4° for the summer of 1915 is suspect)

Las Vegas, Nevada: 93.1° (previous 92.5° in 2007)

Tonopah, Nevada: 75.1° (previous 74.8° in 1996)

W. Palm Beach, Florida: 84.8° (tied with 2011)

Athens, Georgia: 82.2° (tied with 2011)

Savannah, Nevada: 84.2° (previous 84.0° in 2011)

Detroit, Michigan 74.9° (previous 74.8° in 2012)

Akron, Ohio 74.2° (previous 73.8 ° in 1991)

Cleveland, Ohio (previous 75.5 in 1949)

Columbia, South Carolina: 84.8° (previous 84.2° in 2011)

Florence, South Carolina: 83.1° (tied with 1993)

Charleston, South Carolina: 84.1° (previous 83.4° in 2011)

Asheville, North Carolina: 75.7° (previous 75.4° in 2010)

Williamsport, Pennsylvania: 74.4° (previous 73.3° in 1901)

Bridgeport, Connecticut: 75.4° (previous 75.0° in 2010)

NOTE: Both Concord, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine had their warmest summers in modern records (since 1876). Concord averaged 70.5° (previous 69.9° in 1955 although 72.4° was reported for the summer of 1872 and 72.1° for the summer of 1876). Portland averaged 68.9° (previous 68.7° in 2010 but 70.3° in 1876). Thanks to blog commentator 'tlawson48' for pointing this out!

We have seen some unprecedented heat anomalies in the northern hemisphere beginning this past spring in Southeast Asia, and then during the summer on the Indian sub-continent, Middle East, and also portions of the U.S.A. And now, into this climatological fall, we now see the Iberian Peninsula and the region of the Persian Gulf also observing all-time heat records for their respective locations and/or for the time of season.

LATE UPDATE: On September 7th the French city of Biarritz reached 38.7°C (101.7°F). This was the hottest September temperature measured in mainland France (meaning excluding Corsica) since a 38.8°C (101.8°F) observed at Cap Ferret on September 4, 1949 according to the French web site Keraunos.



The extreme temperature at Biarritz on September 7th was due to a foehn-like wind blowing north off the Pyrenees Mountains to its south. Note how the wind shifted around 3 p.m. to a powerful onshore breeze (gusting to 67 km/h) and cooling the temperature off by some 10°C (18°F) in just one hour. Table from OGIMET.

Also, on September 13th, the temperature at Gravesend, Kent in the U.K. peaked at 34.4°C (93.9°F), the warmest September temperature observed in the U.K. since 1911.

KUDOS: Jerome Reynaud of Geoclimat.org, and Michael Thuesner of Klimahaus for much of the above information.

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

A regular monitoring of national temperature records (monthly and absolute) in the world in 2016 is also available on Geoclimat.org.
Portland, ME should also be included in the hottest summer list: 68.9F (old record was 68.7F set in 2010).
Good source Geoclimat. Thanks for sharing.
Hi good job, but you confuse Alacer do sol (portugal) with Sanlúcar la Mayor (Spain) a few time in the article. The solar plant in that picture it's in Sanlúcar la Mayor (Spain) and the agrometeorological station it reached 46.4°C is Sanlucar la Mayor (Spain). Greetings from Arahal (near Seville) where we've reached 44.5°C on the 5th.
The Portland, ME temperature POR begins in 1874 and the hottest summer on record (according to NOW data) was that of 1876 with a 70.3° average.

Quoting 2. tlawson48:

Portland, ME should also be included in the hottest summer list: 68.9F (old record was 68.7F set in 2010).
Quoting 5. weatherhistorian:

The Portland, ME temperature POR begins in 1874 and the hottest summer on record (according to NOW data) was that of 1876 with a 70.3° average.




Depends on which data set you are looking at. NWS temperature reporting was moved out to the Portland International Jetport in 1940. The previous data was from the city proper. Hence the conclusion that the NWS Gray office came to in stating that this summer was the hottest in record. So this is a case of two separate weather locations. Is the NOW data from the same reporting location since 1874?
Thanks DaniSan! I've fixed this.

Quoting 4. DaniSan:

Hi good job, but you confuse Alacer do sol (portugal) with Sanlúcar la Mayor (Spain) a few time in the article. The solar plant in that picture it's in Sanlúcar la Mayor (Spain) and the agrometeorological station it reached 46.4°C is Sanlucar la Mayor (Spain). Greetings from Arahal (near Seville) where we've reached 44.5°C on the 5th.
Thanks for the blog.
Temperature anomaly (GFS forecast) for Sept. 5, 1500 UTC - the darkest shades indicate anomalies around 10 C above the mean 1979-2000. Image source : Climate Reanalyzer.


The very strong "omega block" pattern of the jet stream behind the heatwave in Spain, Portugal, and the higher than normal temps over much of Europe set to come back on Sunday...

Greece : flash floods in the north, flash floods in the south...
Greece hit by flash floods - Sept. 7, BBC.
Floods leave four dead and extensive damage - Sept 7, ekathimerini.com.
===
Explainer : the omega-shaped jet stream responsible for Europe's heatwave
Archive : July 2015 - The Conversation.
Rossby waves and extreme weather - Video - Potsdam Institute.
The data from Sanlucar la Mayor is completely unreliable. It has been like that for long time.
It's not correct to say that Setubal beat its all time record (43.5C), it tied it at the Areia station, it's not correct that Cordoba AP recorded 45.7C, it was 45.4C, 45.7C was recorded in the Meteoclimatic Downtown station.
Also, Mitribah recorded 51.2C on Sept 4th, not the 3rd.

I had sent the correct information several times, but wrong data is still published,so I want to exclude myself from content of this article.
Quoting 11. 999Ai2016:


"An intense dome of upper-level high pressure centered over southwestern Europe (with the 0 C isotherm as high as 5100 meters measured over Nimes in southern France) has resulted in an unprecedented September heat wave in Spain, Portugal, and parts of Morocco." TONS of data... That data is unreliable too ? Hrrm...


Quoting 11. 999Ai2016:

I deleted this comment because I believe it's useless to quote/answer some people's baseless rants.



You know nothing about that issue, that;'s why you deleted your comment . Go and check the Sanlucar la Mayor station , before saying mine were baseless rants !
I have done this job for 27 years and a little ignorant like you is not gonna defaming me.

I can show the evidence that the station is not working properly and you try -if you can- to show otherwise.

Believe me, I not used to say anything baseless in my profession, if I am not sure about something, I just keep quiet.
Quoting 13. maxcrc:

You know nothing about that issue, that;'s why you deleted your comment . Go and check the Sanlucar la Mayor station , before saying mine were baseless rants !
I have done this job for 27 years and a little ignorant like you is not gonna defaming me.
I can show the evidence that the station is not working properly and you try -if you can- to show otherwise.
Believe me, I not used to say anything baseless in my profession, if I am not sure about something, I just keep quiet.


Yes you're right, I know nothing about that issue, and I'm not qualified to discuss it. That was my mistake, at first I completely misunderstood your comment, I didn't realize you were Maximiliano Herrera. This is why I deleted the comment I wrote right after I realized the mistake I made. I deeply respect you and your work, please accept my sincere apologies for what I wrote in my previous comment.
Max, 999Ai2016 is a good blogger. Supplying correct information is one thing, but there's no need to be rude. 999Ai2016 wasn't trying to post false information.
Well, I'm not sure if the downtown Portland site is still in operation but it would seem logical to follow the longest stream of POR available in so far as any extreme record event might be. Airports are usually far away from the actual cities they purport to represent (ie.. Chicago O'Hare). So I put little confidence in their data so far as all-time extreme weather events are concerned 'official' or not over the long term record.


Quoting 6. tlawson48:



Depends on which data set you are looking at. NWS temperature reporting was moved out to the Portland International Jetport in 1940. The previous data was from the city proper. Hence the conclusion that the NWS Gray office came to in stating that this summer was the hottest in record. So this is a case of two separate weather locations. Is the NOW data from the same reporting location since 1874?
Just one look at the time of the maximum at Sanclural station and I see without anything knowing about it that the data is not correct. They have central european time in Spain and the time is more than 2 hour after mean solar time. So maximum solar energy is after 2 PM and the time of highest temperatures is between 4 an 6 PM. It is very unusual to have in these situation maximum at 13:38 and it is simply very low possibility that it is correct measurement.
I would agree. Looks like Montoro is the best bet for setting a new monthly European September heat record.

Quoting 17. MichalBogar:

Just one look at the t�me of the maximum at Sanclural station and I see without anything knowing about it that the data is not correct. They have central european t�me in Spain and the t�me is more than 2 hour befor mean solar t�me. So maximum solar energy is after 2 PM and the t�me of highest temperatures is between 4 an 6 PM. It is very unusual to have in these situation maximum at 13:36 and it is simply very low possibility that it is correct measurement.
"Unusual" but not impossible. The wind factor could explain this. We need to examine the dataset of this weather station before drawing hasty or peremptory conclusions.


Quoting 17. MichalBogar:

Just one look at the time of the maximum at Sanclural station and I see without anything knowing about it that the data is not correct. They have central european time in Spain and the time is more than 2 hour after mean solar time. So maximum solar energy is after 2 PM and the time of highest temperatures is between 4 an 6 PM. It is very unusual to have in these situation maximum at 13:38 and it is simply very low possibility that it is correct measurement.
Quoting 19. Geoclimat:

"Unusual" but not impossible. The wind factor could explain this. We need to examine the dataset of this weather station before drawing hasty or peremptory conclusions.





Not impossible, I agree. But in context of other temperatures on oficial aemet station it is very, very unusual :-)
Quoting 16. weatherhistorian:

Well, I'm not sure if the downtown Portland site is still in operation but it would seem logical to follow the longest stream of POR available in so far as any extreme record event might be. Airports are usually far away from the actual cities they purport to represent (ie.. Chicago O'Hare). So I put little confidence in their data so far as all-time extreme weather events are concerned 'official' or not over the long term record.





I have no idea if the downtown station is still in operation. If it is, the National Weather Service no longer maintains records on it. As to the Portland Jetport, it is about 1.5 miles from the center of downtown
Link

43,5 C on September 3rd at this station when everywhere else were maximal temps 41 -41,5 C ? Very strange. I must not find another data, it is simply not proper measurment.
Hi tlawson48,

I think you are correct that the Portland summer record should be included in the list of sites that observed their warmest summer on record. Please note the update to my blog to reflect this.

Also, Concord, NH also recorded its warmest summer on record in the modern record this past summer (see blog update). Since the official NCDC record begins in 1895 it would only be correct to reflect the data you kindly provided. Thanks!

That being said, it is interesting that both Portland and Concord apparently experienced an amazingly warm summer in 1876 since both sites measured record warm averages that summer.

Best,

Chris

Quoting 2. tlawson48:

Portland, ME should also be included in the hottest summer list: 68.9F (old record was 68.7F set in 2010).
It was certainly a hot one in New England this summer. We only tied one Record high temp for the summer at Concord and we had only one heat wave (defined as three consecutive days at or above 90F), but what made it average out hotter than it probably would have otherwise been was the lack of rain. Day after day after day of cloudless skies absolutely baked the crap out of the ground and the forests. As a result, evaporative cooling from usually lush groundcover and moisture from rainstorms was much less than normal and the days heated up very quickly.

So the summer in Concord had 71 days at or above 80F and 22 days at or above 90F. The numbers at or above 80F were skewed more toward the 90F side as 22 days had highs of 87F to 89F. This means that 44 days out of 93 (total summer length) were hotter than 90F or within three days of it. For Central New England, that quite an achievement.

The weirdest ironic record in this very hot summer was that Portland set a record low high temperature on July 9th of only 59F. That ties for 4th coldest July high temp in Portland on record.
This article (...and subsequent commentary) has been really fun to follow. One thing has been bothering me, though...

Has anyone else noticed that whatever is generating that European heat map is a little out of date? I think I see Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia in there...
Where is The wettest meteorological station in the World?
No, it is not Cherrapunji nor Mawsynram in India.
With annual precipitation nearly 16 000 mm of rain it is Colombian official station La Concha :-)
More in my post (in Slovak)

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid =461248590712273&id=287853961385071
Quoting 27. MichalBogar:

Link


I don't buy the data from September to December.
The precipitation patterns does not match the ones
from the neighbouring stations. By this I mean the
jump from August to September and December to
January.
Therefore I find, the crown has to be passed to Puerto Lopez
with 13069 mm.
Quoting 28. ChateauChalon:



I don't buy the data from September to December.
The precipitation patterns does not match the ones
from the neighbouring stations. By this I mean the
jump from August to September and December to
January.
Therefore I find, the crown has to be passed to Puerto Lopez
with 13069 mm.



Maybe you are right. I can't independently check these data from Colombian weather service. I just want to say, that this area is in average wettest than India 2 stations which are much more famous ...
Quoting 29. MichalBogar:



Maybe you are right. I can't independently check these data from Colombian weather service. I just want to say, that this area is in average wettest than India 2 stations which are much more famous ...


So you mean, that Columbia has the wettest area in the world, because there are more stations recording higher rainfall amounts, than elsewhere in the world, in particular the Khasi Hills, right?

It is difficult for me to decide, which area is the wettest one in the world, since "area" is a vague term in this context.
For instance if you take the size of the area enclosed by the 10.000 mm isohyet, it would be in Columbia.
Using the same criteria with 5.000 mm as the treshold, then New Guinea comes to my mind, since the Pacific Warm Pool is adjacent and therefore providing huge amounts of moisture.
Or you could apply "area" in the context of an administrative territory, for instance "Cauca" or "Choco".
I just paid a visit to this excellent website, and here's what I found :
152. Flood Death Valley
What If ? XKCD. ;-)
weatherhistorian has created a new entry.