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Record January Warmth in France and Australia while Record Cold in China and

By: Christopher C. Burt, 8:27 PM GMT on January 07, 2013

Record January Warmth in France and Australia while Record Cold in China and India Persists

January has gotten off to an extreme start temperature-wise for many parts of the world although it has been fairly normal so far in the U.S.

European warmth

On January 5th the temperature peaked at 25.2°C (77.4°F) at Llau, France, the warmest January temperature on record for the country on the mainland and aside from the French Mediterranean Island of Corsica. The record for Corsica is 25.5°C (77.9°F) set at Solenzara on January 2, 1962. Switzerland also saw near record warmth for the month with a 23.7°C (74.7°F) temperature measured at Brissago. The January record for Switzerland remains 24.1°C (75.4°F) at Grono on January 19, 2007.

Australian Heat Wave

Temperatures remain in record territory for much of Australia following a blistering weekend. Wild fires in southeastern Tasmania burned to the ground at least 100 homes last Friday and Saturday and officials are still searching for almost 100 residents unaccounted for. The temperature peaked in the state capital of Hobart at 41.8°C (107.2°F) on Friday, the hottest temperature on record for the city (records began in 1882) and tied for the 2nd hottest temperature ever recorded in Tasmania (the record is 42.2°C (108°F) at Scamander on January 30, 2009). The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has issued a statement saying that today and/or tomorrow (January 7 or 8) will nationally average over 40°C (104°F) which, should it occur, approach or break the all-time record for the country. The hottest day (average national maximum temperature) on record is 40.17°C (104.3°F) on December 21, 1972.

An enormous wild fire burns near Ouse and Dunalley north of Hobart in Tasmania, Australia last Saturday. 100 people are still unaccounted for in the area. Photo by Kaycie Bradford/EPA.

India Cold

The northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where New Delhi is located, continued to suffer from record cold temperatures that have so far claimed the lives of 175 people. Temperatures in New Delhi fell to a low of 1.9°C (35.4°F) on January 6th and the high temperature on January 2nd was just 9.8°C (49.6°F), the coldest daily maximum in 44 years. The coldest temperature at a low elevation site in the state so far has been -0.7°C (30.7°F) at Muzaffarnagar. Narnaul in Haryana State reported -3.0°C (26.7°F) an all-time record cold temperature for the site. In the Himalayan region of Ladakh temperatures fell to -16.4°C (2.5°F) at Kargil.

Dense fog enshrouds New Delhi as a week of unusual cold continues. Photo by S. Subramanium for The Hindu newspaper.

China Cold

China has been experiencing its coldest winter in 28 years so far according to media reports. Since late November the national average has been -3.8°C (25.2°F). The average temperature in normally frigid northeast China (Manchuria) has been even more anomalous at -15.3°C (4.5°F), the coldest for the period in 42 years. Temperatures below -40°C (-40°F) have been reported in Manchuria and far western Xinjiang province (these temperatures are far from record values for the region where the Chinese national absolute minimum temperature of -52.3°C/-62.1°F was measured at Mohe in Heilongjiang Province on February 13, 1962). The Chinese Meteorological Administration reports that 27,000 square kilometers (10,500 square miles) of sea surface has frozen in Bo Hai Bay, the greatest ice extent since records of such began in 2008.

Investigators inspect ships frozen to their docks in the port city of Jinzhou, Liaoning Province in China. Photo from REUTERS.

KUDOS: Maximiliano Herrera for European warmth statistics.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Temperature Fire

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