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Early Summer Heat Broils Northern Hemisphere

By: Christopher C. Burt, 9:06 PM GMT on June 10, 2014

Early Summer Heat Broils Northern Hemisphere

While the summer has started off relatively cool for the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. many other locations in the world have been broiling the past several weeks. Record or near-record heat has been observed in portions of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Russia, India, Nepal, China, Japan, Korea, Libya, Chad, and Mexico. Here’s a brief summary of the highlights.

An intense heat wave has developed in portions of Europe the past few days. On June 9th Ihringen in Germany reached 37.9°C (100.2°F). This was close to the all-time German national heat record for the month of June (which was 38.2°C/100.8°F at Frankfurt on June 27, 1947). This time, Frankfurt reached a sweltering 35.0° C (95.0°F), unheard of so early in the summer. Severe storms have broken out along the heat boundary in Germany and France with six storm-related deaths reported so far in Germany. A thunderstorm brought a 150 kmh (93 mph) wind gust to Dusseldorf Airport causing it to close for several hours. In France hail up to 8 cm (3”) in diameter fell in Ile-de France, Paris.

Germans flocked to the beaches during the early summer heat wave this week that saw temperature reach 100°F. Photo Picture-Alliance/DPA.

In Switzerland the temperature reached 36.4°C (97.5°F) at Liestal (also on June 9th), well short of the Swiss June national record of 37.3°C (99.1°F) set at Grono on June 21, 2003, but impressive for this early in the month nevertheless. Temperatures in France topped off at 37.7°C (99.9°F) at Carpentras on June 10th. Climatologist Maximiliano Hererra noted that in northern Italy it reached 38.9°F (102.0°C) at least one (unspecified) location. In Austria, Schaerding hit 35.6°C (96.1°F) on June 10th with Vienna reaching 35.0°C (95.0°F) on the 9th. Elsewhere in Europe unusually hot weather for the early summer was experienced in the Lapland regions of Finland and Sweden last week with temperatures reaching 30°C (86°F) above the Arctic Circle for almost an entire week. In Russia, Moscow saw a daily record high of 28.6°C (83.5°F) on June 4th. This follows the unprecedented mid-May heat wave that struck Russia, Finland, and Estonia in mid-May (see my blog posted in May for details about this event.

Earlier I also blogged about the record heat wave in China, Japan, and Korea during late May and early June but some of the records mentioned therein were beaten more recently. Most impressive was that Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan broke its June monthly record again on June 4th with a high of 33.7°C (92.7°F). Asahikawa, another major city in Hokkaido, hit 35.9°C (96.6°F) also on June 4th, smashing its previous June record of 34.6°C (94.3°F) set on June 24, 1905 and coming within just 0.1°C (0.2°F) of its all-time any month record of 36.0°C (96.8°F). Records at this site date back to 1889.

In China, a late report from a regional weather station, Nansha, in Yunnan Province claims a temperature of 44.5°C (112.1°F) was attained on May 29th. If accurate, this would be a new all-time national heat record for China for the month of May. It is somewhat verified by a 43.1°C (109.6°F) official temperature at nearby Yuangjiang the same week (on June 3) which was a new official all-time record for any month in Yunnan Province for a first-order site in the Chinese meteorological network.

Elsewhere in Asia, India has seen extreme heat for the past week. At New Delhi’s Palam Airport the temperature reached 47.8°C (118.0°F) on June 8th, the 2nd hottest temperature ever measured at that site. Agra hit a blistering 47.3° (117.1°F) on June 10th and 48.6°C (119.5°F) was reported from Ganganagar on June 8th, the warmest reading so far in the country. In Nepal the temperature peaked at 45.2°C (113.4°F) at Dipayal, just short of the all-time (any month) national record of 46.4°C (115.5°F) set at Dhanghadi on June 16, 1995.

Libya saw a temperature of 48.7°C (119.7°F) reached at the oasis of Jalu on June 3rd, just short of the site’s all-time record of 49.1°C (120.4°F) set back in 1961.

Chad saw a 47.0°C (116.6°F) reading at Faya Iargeau also on June 3rd which was just short of the all-time national record (for any month) of 47.6°C (117.7°F) set at the same site on June 22, 2010.

In Israel, Ben-Gurian Airport near Tel Aviv, reached 42.7°C (108.7°F) on June 4th, a daily record.

Mexico saw some amazing temperatures last week with a site in Sonora State called Moris reporting 51.5°C (124.7°F) on June 4th. This figure, however, is suspicious and not well verified by surrounding stations. A more believable 50.5°C (122.9°F) was registered at El Oregano on June 4th. This is just 1.5°C (2.7°F) short of Mexico’s all-time national heat record of 52.0°C (125.6°F) set at two sites in the Mexicali area in July 1995. The heat in northern Mexico brushed the U.S. Southwest during the first week of June. El Paso, Texas saw a string of four consecutive record-breaking days June 2-5 with a peak of 109°F (42.8°C) on June 3rd. This was the hottest temperature ever measured so early in the summer for the city.

El Paso, Texas got off to a hot start this June with four consecutive record-breaking days June 2-5. So far, the month is averaging 8.0°F above normal. Table from NWS-El Paso.

In Australia it is now late Fall, early winter so the summer days of extreme heat are long gone. However, May was one of the country’s warmest such with a number of late season heat records set. Below is a map pointing out some of the highlights:

Map courtesy of ClimateCouncil.org.au

KUDOS: Thanks to Maximiliano Hererra for temperature records and Yusuke Uemura for Japanese data and records.

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.