July 2019: Earth's Hottest Month in Recorded History

August 15, 2019, 3:24 PM EDT

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Above: The deadliest weather-related disaster of July was monsoon flooding and associated landslides in India, which killed 467 people. The states of Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh were among the worst affected. Economic losses were expected to reach well into millions of dollars, especially to agriculture and infrastructure. Monsoon flooding in neighboring Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan during July killed an additional 210, 87, and 44 people, respectively. In this image, we see a man tripping in rushing flood waters as he tries to hold onto a rope to cross the street following heavy monsoon rains outside the Moinuddin Chishti Sufi shrine in Ajmer in the western Indian state of Rajasthan on August 1, 2019. Image credit: Shaukat Ahmed/AFP/Getty Images.

July 2019 was the planet's warmest July and warmest month in absolute terms since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)  on Thursday. Earth’s previous warmest month on record was July 2016. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) rated July 2019 in a tie with July 2016 for warmest month on record, and NASA found that July 2019 was in a virtual tie with August 2016. Minor differences in rankings between NASA, NOAA, and JMA can arise because of how they handle data-sparse regions such as the Arctic, where few surface weather stations exist.

In terms of temperature departure from average, February 2016 was the warmest month on record, thanks to the presence of a record-strong El Niño event that winter.

Seasonal cycle and monthly global temperature, 1880-2019
Figure 1. The departure from average (compared to temperatures from 1980 - 2015) of Earth’s surface temperature from 1880 through July 2019, with the seasonal cycle left in. July 2019 was in a virtual tie with August 2016 as Earth’s hottest month on record in absolute terms, according to NASA, while February 2016 had the largest departure from average (in relative terms) of any month in the historical record. In NOAA's analyses, the biggest departure from average was in January 2016. Image credit: NASA/GISS.

Global ocean temperatures during July 2019 were the warmest on record, according to NOAA, and global land temperatures were the second warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures in July 2019 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the third warmest in the 41-year record, according to the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH).

Departure of temperature from average
Figure 2. Departure of temperature from average for July 2019, the warmest month for the globe since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA and NASA. Record-warm temperatures were present across parts of North America, southern Asia, the southern half of Africa, the northern Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, as well as across the western and northern parts of the Pacific Ocean. No land or ocean areas had record cold July temperatures. Image credit: National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

2019 a lock to be among the 5 warmest years in Earth’s recorded history

The January through July year-to-date period was the tied with 2017 for the second warmest global temperatures on record, behind 2016, according to NOAA. According to their global annual temperature ranking outlook, it is virtually certain that 2019 will end among the top five warmest years in Earth’s history. This means that the six warmest years on record globally since 1880 will be the last six years--2014 through 2019. 

This near-record global warmth in 2019 is all the more remarkable since it is occurring during the minimum of the weakest solar cycle in 100+ years, and during a year when a strong El Niño has not been present (though a weak El Niño was present January – June 2019, ending in July). Record-warm global temperatures typically occur during strong El Niño events, and when the solar cycle is near its maximum. The near-record warmth of 2019 is thus a testament to how greatly human-caused global warming is impacting the planet.

Amsterdam heat
Figure 3. The scene at Amsterdam’s Central Park on July 25, 2019—the hottest day in Netherlands history. Image credit: Jeff Masters.

Touring two world capitals on their hottest days in history—a personal perspective

When I booked a vacation to Europe after witnessing their unprecedented June heat wave, when France hit a ridiculous 115°F, I had an uneasy feeling about going during the last week of July. That’s typically the hottest week of the year, and during an age of accelerating global warming, I worried about the risks of encountering an off-the-charts heat wave in a place where air conditioning is not plentiful.

Sure enough, when we arrived in Amsterdam on July 24, the city was baking in record 95-degree heat. The hotel had air conditioning, but it was unable to keep up with the heat and we spent an uncomfortable sweaty night there. On the next day, July 25, I had the dubious honor of experiencing my first-ever visit to a world capital on their hottest day in recorded history, when Amsterdam hit 36.3°C (97.3°F). Virtually all of the primary weather stations in Belgium and the Netherlands set all-time records that day, with the Netherlands setting a national heat record of 40.7°C (105.3°F) at Gilze Rijen. As we strolled through Amsterdam’s Central Park, the usually busy bike trails were quiet, and hundreds of minimally-clad people lay prostrate in the shade. The next day was even hotter in Amsterdam (97.5°F), beating the all-time heat record set just the day before.

Helsinki beach
Figure 4. A packed beach on the Baltic Sea in Helsinki, Finland on July 28, 2019—the hottest day in recorded history at the city's nearby Kaisaniemi station, which hit 91.8°F (33.2°C). The old record was 89°F (31.6°C), set in July 1945. Records at the station extend back to 1844. Image credit: Jeff Masters.

It was a relief to leave the Netherlands on July 27 and fly to Helsinki, Finland, but they were also roasting in record heat. On the next day, July 28, I had the very rare dubious honor of experiencing the hottest day in recorded history for a second world capital, as Helsinki hit an unprecedented 91.8°F (33.2°C). I got my first Finnish sauna experience by sweating through a cello concert at a downtown church! We were amazed to tour the city and see packed beaches, and we beat the heat ourselves by swimming in the Baltic Sea, which was a tepid 77°F (25°C).

Two billion-dollar weather disasters in July 2019

Two billion-dollar weather-related disasters hit the Earth last month, according to the July 2019 Catastrophe Report from insurance broker Aon: flooding in China that has cost $6.8 billion, and a drought in China that has cost $1 billion so far this year. The 2019 tally of billion-dollar weather disasters is now seventeen:

  1. Flooding, China, 6/1 – 7/1, $12+ billion, 300 killed
  2. Flooding, Iran, 3/17 - 4/9, $8.3 billion, 77 killed
  3. Flooding, Central U.S., 3/12 – 3/31, $5 billion, 3 killed
  4. Flooding, Central U.S., 5/1 – 7/15, $4 billion, 0 killed
  5. Severe Weather, Rockies, Plains, Midwest, Southeast U.S., 5/26 – 5/31, $2.75 billion, 3 killed
  6. Flooding, Argentina, Uruguay, 1/1 - 1/20, $2.3 billion, 5 killed
  7. Cyclone Fani, India, Bangladesh, 5/3 – 5/5, $2+ billion, 89 killed
  8. Cyclone Idai, Mozambiqe, Zimbabwe, Malawi, 3/3 - 3/18, $2 billion, 1007+ killed
  9. Flooding, Australia, 1/28 - 2/7, $1.9 billion, 3 killed
  10. Drought, India, 1/1 – now, $1.75 billion, 0 killed
  11. Severe Weather, Plains, Midwest U.S., 3/23 – 3/25, $1.5 billion, 0 killed
  12. Windstorm Eberhard, Central & Western Europe, 3/10, $1.5 billion, 2 killed
  13. Severe Weather, Central/Eastern U.S., 2/22 - 2/26, $1.4 billion, 4 killed
  14. Severe Weather, Plains, Midwest, Southeast U.S., 5/4 – 5/10, $1.1 billion, 1 killed
  15. Severe Weather, Central Europe, 6/10 – 6/12, $1.1 billion, 0 killed
  16. Severe Weather, Plains, Midwest, Southeast U.S., 3/12 – 3/17, $1 billion, 5 killed
  17. Drought, China, 5/1 – now, $1 billion, 0 killed
China flood
July billion-dollar disaster 1. Torrential seasonal rains associated with the Mei-yu frontal boundary brought severe flooding across southern sections of China within the Yangtze River Basin and northern China in July. At least 112 people were dead or missing, with damage estimated at $6.8 billion. The total economic flood cost since the beginning of June rose to at least $12 billion. Above: This photo taken on July 18, 2019 shows a flooded street in Dazhou City, in China's southwest Sichuan Province. Heavy rainfall from July 16-18 caused flooding in Dazhou, with more than 2000 people forced to evacuate. Image credit: AFP/Getty Images.
China drought
July billion-dollar disaster 2. Drought in China through the end of July caused an estimated $1 billion in damage. Above, we see drought conditions in China for July 2019. Image credit: USDA.

El Niño ends

NOAA signed the death warrant for El Niño on August 8 in its monthly discussion of the state of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which was headlined “Final El Niño Advisory”. Over the past month, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the benchmark Niño3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific have trended below the El Niño threshold of 0.5°C above average. Water temperatures beneath the equatorial Pacific are near average, and low-level winds also reflect neutral conditions. “Overall, oceanic and atmospheric conditions were consistent with a transition to ENSO-neutral,” said the update.

The just-deceased El Niño event began in September-November 2018, as defined by the running three-month average of Niño3.4 temperatures. It remained a weak event throughout its life, with the top three-month average of +0.9°C just below the threshold for a moderate event of +1.0°C. Like many El Niño events, it began in northern fall and ended within about a year’s time.

Forecasters at NOAA and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) are calling for a roughly 55% chance of neutral conditions in winter 2019-20, with roughly 30% odds of El Niño returning and only about a 15% chance of a La Niña event. Neutral periods lasting more than a year are fairly infrequent; the only three such periods we’ve seen this century were in 2001-02, 2003-04, and 2012-14.

Departure of temperature from average
Figure 5. Departure of sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region (in the equatorial Pacific). Since late-June 2019, SSTs have fallen below the 0.5°C above-average threshold needed for an El Niño event. Image credit: Levi Cowan, tropicaltidbits.com.

July Arctic sea ice extent the lowest on record

Arctic sea ice extent during July 2019 was the lowest in the 40-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). On a daily basis, ice tracked at record low levels from July 10 through July 14 and July 20 through August 11. However, by August 12 - 14, sea ice extent in 2019 was virtually tied with the extent measured in 2012—the year that ended up with the lowest sea ice extent on record, during the annual September minimum. According to NSIDC, sea ice extent in September of 2019 is likely to be among the five lowest minimums recorded.

Arctic sea ice volume broke its record minimum for July 2019 with an average of 8,808 km³--less than half of what it was just 20 years ago.

Antarctic sea ice extent during July 2019 was the among the five lowest in the 40-year satellite record. The other near-record years were widely dispersed (1983, 1986, 2002, and 2017), underscoring the high variability of Antarctic sea ice.

Notable global heat and cold marks for July 2019

Hottest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere: 53.1°C (127.6°F) Shahdad, Iran, 2 July
Coldest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere: -28.4°C (-27.9°F) at Geo Summit, Greenland, 24 July
Hottest temperature in the Southern Hemisphere: 40.6°C (105.1°F) at Walvis Bay, Namibia, 9 July
Coldest temperature in the Southern Hemisphere: -80.8°C (-113.4°F) at Dome Fuji, Antarctica, 19 July

(Courtesy of Maximiliano Herrera)

Major weather stations that set (not tied) all-time heat or cold records in July 2019

Among global stations with a period of record of at least 40 years, a remarkable 282 set new all-time heat records in July; there were no stations that set all-time cold records:

Krems (Austria) max. 38.8°C, 1 July
Wlodowa (Poland) max. 37.2°C, 1 July
Lomnicky Stit (Slovakia) max. 19.5°C, 1 July
Kasprowy Wierch (Poland) max. 23.4°C, 1 July
Kielce Sukow (Poland) max. 36.6°C, 1 July
Anchorage (Alaska, USA) max. 32.2°C, 4 July
Kenai (Alaska, USA) max. 31.7°C, 4 July
King Salmon (Alaska, USA) max. 31.7°C,4 July
Almeria (Spain) max. 41.6°C,  6 July
Aniak (Alaska, USA) max. 31.7°C, 8 July
Egvekinot (Russia) max. 30.6°C, 10 July
Gari (Russia) max. 36.6°C, 13 July
Sarakhs (Iran) max. 48.6°C, 13 July 
Alert (Canada) max. 21.0°C,14 July
Sedom (Israel) max. 49.9°C,  17 July
Erbent (Turkmenistan) max. 48.2°C, 19 July
Temir (Kazakhstan) max. 44.1°C, 19 July
Kungrad (Uzbekistan) max. 47.1°C, 20 July
Chardzev (Turkmenistan) max. 45.8°C, 21 July
Khorram Abad (Iran) max. 45.4°C, 21 July
Bordeaux Airport (France) max. 41.2°C,23 July
Bordeaux City (France) max. 42.6°C, 23 July
Angers (France) max. 41.1°C,  23 July
Rennes (France) max. 40.1°C, 23 July
Cognac (France) max. 40.3°C, 23 July
Limoges Airport (France) max. 37.9°C, 23 July
Cholet (France) max. 39.1°C, 23 July
Jersey Airport (Jersey, UK dependency) max. 36.0°C, 23 July
Nevers (France) max. 39.4°C, 24 July
Dijon (France) max. 39.5°C, 24 July
Vichy (France) max. 41.3°C, 24 July
Metz (France) max. 39.7°C, 24 July
Nancy (France) max. 40.1°C, 24 July
Eelde (Netherlands) max. 36.9°C, 24 July
De Kooy (Netherlands) max. 34.8°C, 24 July
Kleine Brogel (Belgium) max. 40.6°C, 24 July
Saarbrucken (Germany) max. 40.0°C, 24 July
Norderney (Germany) max. 35.4°C, 24 July
Sion (Switzerland) max. 38.0°C, 24 July
Neuchatel (Switzerland) max. 37.9°C, 24 July
Moleson (Switzerland) max. 26.4°C, 24 July
Scuol (Switzerland) max. 33.8°C, 24 July
Paris St Maur (France) max. 43.6°C, 25 July
La Brosse (France) max. 42.9°C, 25 July
Paris Montsouris (France) max. 42.6°C, 25 July
Chablis (France) max. 42.6°C, 25 July
Nemours (France) max. 42.5°C, 25 July
Sens (France) max. 42.4°C, 25 July
Bouy-sur-Orvin (France) max. 42.4°C, 25 July
Paris Le Bourget (France) max. 42.1°C,  25 July
Chatillon sur Seine (France) max. 42.1°C,25 July
Romorantin (France) max. 42.0°C,  25 July
Bretigny (France) max. 42.0°C, 25 July
Paris Orly (France) max. 41.9°C, 25 July
Melun (France) max. 41.9°C, 25 July
Cambrai (France) max. 41.8°C, 25 July
Troyes (France) max. 41.8°C, 25 July
Bourges (France) max. 41.7°C, 25 July
Chateaudun (France) max. 41.7°C, 25 July
Frignicourt (France) max. 41.7°C, 25 July
Creil (France) max. 41.6°C, 25 July
Beauvais (France) max. 41.6°C, 25 July
Pontoise (France) max. 41.6°C, 25 July
Auxerre (France) max. 41.6°C, 25 July
Lille (France) max. 41.5°C, 25 July
Chartes (France) max. 41.4°C,25 July
Chateauroux (France) max. 41.4°C, 25 July
Paris Charles de Gaulle AP (France) max. 41.4°C,  25 July
St Dizier (France) max. 41.4°C, 25 July
Dunkerque (France) max. 41.3°C,25 July
Abbeville (France) max. 41.3°C,  25 July
Rouen (France) max. 41.3°C, 25 July
Orleans (France) max. 41.3°C, 25 July
Juniville (France) max. 41.3°C, 25 July
Le Mans (France) max. 41.1°C, 25 July
Reims (France) max. 41.1°C, 25 July
Cheverny (France) max. 41.1°C, 25 July
Goderville (France) max. 41.1°C, 25 July
Evreux (France) max. 40.9°C, 25 July
Avord (France) max. 40.9°C, 25 July
Tours (France) max. 40.8°C, 25 July
Douai (France) max. 40.8°C,25 July
Toussus le Noble (France) max. 40.8°C,  25 July
St Quentin (France) max. 40.7°C, 25 July
Trappes (France) max. 40.6°C, 25 July
Lisieux (France) max. 40.4°C, 25 July
Villacoublay (France) max. 40.3°C, 25 July
Sable sur Sarthe (France) max. 40.3°C, 25 July
Dieppe (France) max. 40.1°C, 25 July
L'Oudon (France) max. 40.1°C,25 July
Roville (France) max. 40.0°C, 25 July
Sees (France) max. 39.9°C, 25 July
Alencon (France) max. 39.8°C, 25 July
Caen (France) max. 39.7°C, 25 July
Deauville (France) max. 39.4°C, 25 July
Erneville (France) max. 39.4°C, 25 July
Le Touquet (France) max. 39.3°C 25 July
Strasbourg Airport (France) max. 38.9°C,25 July
Langres (France) max. 38.8°C, 25 July
Chateau Chinon (France) max. 38.8°C, 25 July
Cap de la Heve (France) max. 38.1°C, 25 July
Pontarlier (France) max. 38.0°C,25 July
Boulogne (France) max. 36.4°C, 25 July
Luxembourg Ville (Luxembourg) max. 39.0°C, 25 July
Grevenmacher (Luxembourg) max. 40.0°C, 25 July
Clemency (Luxembourg) max. 38.6°C, 25 July
Steinsel (Luxembourg) max. 40.8°C, 25 July: New national record high for Luxembourg
Gilze Rijen (Netherlands) max. 40.7°C, 25 July: New national record high for the Netherlands
Eindhoven (Netherlands) max. 40.4°C, 25 July
Woensdrecht (Netherlands) max. 40.2°C,  25 July
Maastricht (Netherlands) max. 39.6°C, 25 July
Twenthe (Netherlands) max. 40.2°C, 25 July
Lelystad (Netherlands) max. 37.5°C, 25 July
De Bilt (Netherlands) max. 37.5°C, 25 July
Deleen (Netherlands) max. 39.7°C, 25 July
Vlissingen (Netherlands) max. 37.3°C, 25 July
Rotterdam (Netherlands) max. 37.2°C, 25 July
Le Goeree (Netherlands) max. 36.3°C, 25 July
Hoek van Holland (Netherlands) max. 38.9°C, 25 July
Begijnendijk (Belgium) max. 41.8°C, 25 July:  New national record high for Belgium
Liege (Belgium) max. 41.0°C, 25 July
Beitem (Belgium) max. 40.7°C, 25 July
Schaffen (Belgium) max. 40.4°C, 25 July
Charleroi (Belgium) max. 40.4°C, 25 July
Antwerpen (Belgium) max. 40.4°C, 25 July
Chievres (Belgium) max. 40.4°C, 25 July
Semmerzake (Belgium) max. 40.4°C, 25 July
Bruxelles (Belgium) max. 40.2°C, 25 July
Koksijde (Belgium) max. 40.2°C, 25 July
Gent (Belgium) max. 40.1°C, 25 July
Uccle (Belgium) max. 39.7°C, 25 July
Spa (Belgium) max. 36.7°C, 25 July
Elsennborn (Belgium) max. 36.2°C, 25 July
Beauvechain (Belgium) max. 40.1°C, 25 July
Saint Hubert (Belgium) max. 35.2°C, 25 July
Florennes (Belgium) max. 39.0°C, 25 July
Ostende (Belgium) max. 39.3°C, 25 July
Lingen (Germany) max. 42.6°C, 25 July: New national record high for Germany* (dubious; see below)
Tonisvorst (Germany) max. 41.2°C, 25 July: New national record high for Germany (recorded under standard conditions)
Duisburg (Germany) max. 41.2°C, 25 July:  New national record high for Germany (recorded under standard conditions)
Koln (Germany) max. 41.1°C, 25 July
Bonn (Germany) max. 40.9°C, 25 July
Kleve (Germany) max. 40.9°C, 25 July
Dusseldorf (Germany) max. 40.7°C, 25 July
Weilerswist-Lommersum (Germany) max. 40.6°C, 25 July
Trier (Germany) max. 40.6°C, 25 July
Bad Neuenhar (Germany) max. 40.4°C, 25 July
Kahl (Germany) max. 40.4°C, 25 July
Koblenz (Germany) max. 40.3°C, 25 July
Frankfurt (Germany) max. 40.2°C, 25 July
Wuppertal (Germany) max. 40.2°C, 25 July
Neunkirchen (Germany) max. 40.2°C, 25 July
Nauheim (Germany) max. 40.1°C, 25 July
Munster (Germany) max. 40.0°C, 25 July
Essen (Germany) max. 40.0°C, 25 July
Schaafmheim (Germany) max. 40.0°C, 25 July
Perl Nennig (Germany) max. 39.9°C, 25 July
Heinsberg (Germany) max. 39.9°C, 25 July
Offenbach (Germany) max. 39.9°C, 25 July
Durkheim (Germany) max. 39.7°C, 25 July
Olsdorf (Germany) max. 39.7°C, 25 July
Kreuznach (Germany) max. 39.7°C, 25 July
Geldern (Germany) max. 39.6°C, 25 July
Dorpen (Germany) max. 39.6°C, 25 July
Geisenheim (Germany) max. 39.4°C, 25 July
Rheinstetten (Germany) max. 39.2°C, 25 July
Alfhausen (Germany) max. 39.2°C, 25 July
Mainz (Germany) max. 39.1°C, 25 July
Kaiserslautern (Germany) max. 39.1°C, 25 July
Ostheim (Germany) max. 39.1°C, 25 July
Rahden (Germany) max. 39.1°C, 25 July
Worms (Germany) max. 39.0°C, 25 July
Ohlsback (Germany) max. 39.0°C, 25 July
Diepholz (Germany) max. 39.0°C, 25 July
Weiskirchen (Germany) max. 38.9°C, 25 July
Montabaur (Germany) max. 38.6°C, 25 July
Aachen (Germany) max. 38.6°C, 25 July
Arnsberg (Germany) max. 38.5°C, 25 July
Alzey (Germany) max. 38.4°C, 25 July
Hilgenroth (Germany) max. 38.3°C, 25 July
Berus (Germany) max. 38.2°C, 25 July
Giessen (Germany) max. 38.2°C, 25 July
Bamberg (Germany) max. 38.2°C, 25 July
Waldems (Germany) max. 38.1°C, 25 July
Baden (Germany) max. 38.0°C, 25 July
Schotten (Germany) max. 38.0°C, 25 July
Gottingen (Germany) max. 38.0°C, 25 July
Ludenshcheid (Germany) max. 37.9°C, 25 July
Lippsbringe (Germany) max. 37.9°C, 25 July
Lennestadt (Germany) max. 37.9°C, 25 July
Manderscheid (Germany) max. 37.8°C, 25 July
Lautertal (Germany) max. 37.8°C, 25 July
Burgwald (Germany) max. 37.8°C, 25 July
Salzuflen (Germany) max. 37.8°C, 25 July
Blankenrath (Germany) max. 37.7°C, 25 July
Hersfeld (Germany) max. 37.7°C, 25 July
Nienburg (Germany) max. 37.6°C, 25 July
Friesoythe (Germany) max. 37.5°C, 25 July
Tholey (Germany) max. 37.5°C, 25 July
Asfeld (Germany) max. 37.3°C, 25 July
Helmstedt (Germany) max. 37.3°C, 25 July
Nurburg (Germany) max. 37.2°C, 25 July
Worpswede (Germany) max. 37.2°C, 25 July
Bevern (Germany) max. 37.2°C, 25 July
Sandberg (Germany) max. 37.1°C, 25 July
Harzburg (Germany) max. 37.1°C, 25 July
Deuselbach (Germany) max. 37.1°C, 25 July
Konstanz (Germany) max. 36.9°C, 25 July
Kall-Sistig (Germany) max. 36.8°C, 25 July
Eslohe (Germany) max. 36.7°C, 25 July
Pirmasens (Germany) max. 36.6°C, 25 July
Simmern (Germany) max. 36.5°C, 25 July
Marienberg (Germany) max. 34.8°C, 25 July
Fichtelberg (Germany) max. 34.5°C, 25 July
Wernigerode (Germany) max. 33.9°C, 25 July
Braunlage (Germany) max. 33.9°C, 25 July
Kleiner Feldberg (Germany) max. 33.4°C, 25 July
Wasserkuppe (Germany) max. 33.0°C, 25 July
Kahler Asten (Germany) max. 31.9°C, 25 July
Schmucke (Germany) max. 31.6°C, 25 July
Brocken (Germany) max. 29.7°C, 25 July
Cambridge (United Kingdom) max. 38.7°C, 25 July: New national record high for United Kingdom
Oxford (United Kingdom) max. 36.5°C, 25 July
Manchester (United Kingdom) max. 35.7°C, 25 July
Benson (United Kingdom) max. 37.0°C, 25 July
Nottingham (United Kingdom) max. 36.1°C, 25 July
Wittering (United Kingdom) max. 36.7°C, 25 July
Rothamsted (United Kingdom) max. 36.6°C, 25 July
Marham (United Kingdom) max. 36.5°C, 25 July
Cranwell (United Kingdom) max. 36.3°C, 25 July
Holbeach (United Kingdom) max. 36.1°C, 25 July
Langdon Bay (United Kingdom) max. 35.9°C, 25 July
Manston (United Kingdom) max. 35.5°C, 25 July
Scampton (United Kingdom) max. 35.1°C, 25 July
Waddington (United Kingdom) max. 35.1°C, 25 July
Herstmonceaux (United Kingdom) max. 35.0°C, 25 July
Linton On Ouse (United Kingdom) max. 34.8°C,25 July
Leeming (United Kingdom) max. 34.5°C,  25 July
Mildenhall (United Kingdom) max. 37.1°C, 25 July
Stansted (United Kingdom) max. 37.2°C, 25 July
Cranfield (United Kingdom) max. 35.6°C, 25 July
Luton (United Kingdom) max. 37.0°C, 25 July
Carlisle (United Kingdom) max. 32.4°C, 25 July
Edinburgh (United Kingdom) max. 31.6°C, 25 July
Volkel (Netherlands) max. 40.1°C, 26 July
Amsterdam (Netherlands) max. 36.4°C, 26 July\
Sauda (Norway) max. 34.6°C, 26 July
Bergen (Norway) max. 33.4°C, 26 July
Namsskogan (Norway) max. 34.4°C, 26 July
Haugesund (Norway) max. 31.2°C, 26 July
Slatteroy (Norway) max. 30.9°C, 26 July
Sogndal (Norway) max. 30.0 °C, 26 July
Vidsel (Sweden) max. 33.6°C, 26 July
Overkalix-Svartbyn (Sweden) max. 34.3°C, 26 July
Pello (Finland) max. 32.0°C, 26 July
Laksfors (Norway) max. 35.6°C, 27 July
Namsos (Norway) max. 33.9°C, 27 July
Mo I Rana (Norway) max. 33.0°C, 27 July
Bronnoysund (Norway) max. 32.1°C, 27 July
Sandnessjoen (Norway) max. 31.8°C, 27 July
Bodo (Norway) max. 30.7°C, 27 July
Takle (Norway) max. 30.5°C, 27 July
Alvsbyn (Sweden) max. 34.2°C, 27 July
Haparanda (Sweden) max. 33.6°C, 27 July
Kvikkjokk (Sweden) max. 33.1°C, 27 July
Gunnarn (Sweden) max. 33.0°C, 27 July
Nattavaara (Sweden) max. 32.3°C, 27 July
Norsjo (Sweden) max. 32.2°C, 27 July
Vilhemina (Sweden) max. 31.2°C, 27 July
Ullensvang (Norway) max. 33.5°C, 28 July
Orland (Norway) max. 32.4°C, 28 July
Sognefjell (Norway) max. 21.1°C, 28 July
Helsinki Kaisaniemi (Finland) max. 33.2°C, 28 July
Helsinki Malmi (Finland) max. 33.2°C, 28 July
Helsinki Kumpula (Finland) max. 33.1°C, 28 July
Salo (Finland) max. 33.2°C, 28 July
Yltoinen (Finland) max. 33.2°C, 28 July
Porvoo (Finland) max. 33.7°C, 28 July
Kokemaki (Finland) max. 33.0°C, 28 July
Jomala (Finland) max. 31.6°C, 28 July
Lohja (Finland) max. 31.7°C, 28 July
Hokuto (Japan) max.  33.6°C, 31 July

 (Courtesy of Maximiliano Herrera)

National heat records 2019
Figure 5. The sixteen nations (white labels) and territories (purple labels) that set all-time record highs by August 13, 2019. The record from Wake Island, set on August 15, is not included. Image credit: weather.com.

Seventeen all-time national/territorial heat records set or tied in 2019

As of August 15, all-time high temperature records have been tied or broken in seventeen of the world’s nations and territories, making 2019 already the second most prolific year on record for all-time national heat records.

The largest number of all-time national/territorial heat records set or tied in a single year was the 22 heat records that occurred in 2016, according to international records researcher Maximiliano Herrera; 2017 holds third place with 14 heat records. Here are 2019’s national heat records, as of August 15, with notations by Herrera at the end:

Christmas Island (Australia): 31.6°C (88.9°F), 19 January
Reunion Islands (France): 37.0°C (98.6°F), 25 January
Angola: 41.6°C (106.9°F), 22 March
Togo: 43.5°C (110.3°F), 28 March (later tied on 4 April)
Vietnam: 43.4°C, (110.1°F), 20 April
France: 45.9°C (114.6°F) at Gallargues le Montueux, 28 June
Andorra: 39.4°C (102.9°F) at Borda Vidal, 28 June
Cuba: 39.1°C (102.4°F) at Veguitas (Cuba), 30 June
Jersey (crown dependency of Britain): 36.0°C (96.8°F) at Jersey Airport, 23 July (record tied)
Belgium41.8°C (107.2°F) at Begijnendijk, 25 July
Germany: 41.2°C (108.7°F) at Tonisvorst and Duisburg, 25 July*
Luxembourg: 40.8°C (105.4°F) at Steinsel, 25 July
Netherlands: 40.7°C (105.3°F) at Gilze Rijen, 25 July
United Kingdom: 38.7°C (101.7°F) at Cambridge, 25 July
Norway: 35.6°C (96.1°F) at Laksfors, 27 July (record tied)**
Syria: 50.0°C (122.0°F) at Hasakah, 13 August***
Wake Island: 36.6°C (97.9°F) at Wake Airfield, 15 August

* The official national record of 42.6°C measured the same day at Lingen is irregular and totally incompatible with nearby stations data and with the atmospheric conditions. The station has a history of overexposure and of being unreliable and is set to be moved. Despite this, the record was made official by the German DWD. Estimated overexposure is estimated to be about 2°C.

** This tied record was dismissed by the Norwegian Met. Service on weak grounds despite being reliable and compatible with nearby stations data and the atmospheric conditions. Confoundingly, the totally unreliable and irregular records set in July 1901--30 years before the installment of the first reliable temperature shelter with a Stevenson Screen in Oslo--have not been dismissed.

*** The Hasakah, Syria station has 1°C precision. The max temperature of 50.0°C is supported by nearby stations, so the record can be accepted.

No all-time national cold records have been set thus far in 2019. Most nations do not maintain official databases of extreme temperature records, so the national temperature records reported here are in many cases not official. If you reproduce this list of extremes, please cite Maximiliano Herrera as the primary source of the weather records. Jérôme Reynaud also tracks all-time and monthly national extreme temperature records at geoclimat.org (in French language).

Seventy-four monthly national/territorial heat records beaten or tied in 2019 as of August 15

January: Micronesia, Paraguay, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Palau
February: Chile, Marshall Islands, Guyana, United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Andorra, Austria, Hungary, Jersey, Guernsey, Slovakia, San Marino, Slovenia, Angola, Papua New Guinea
March: Australia, Marshall Islands, India, Kenya, Northern Marianas
April: Angola, Togo, French Southern Territories, Mayotte, Taiwan, Kenya, Mauritius
May: Kenya, Indonesia, Niger, French Southern Territories, Syria, Tonga, Laos, Vietnam, Japan, Israel, Cyprus, Turkey
June: India, Tonga, Namibia, Lithuania, Senegal, Qatar, Chile, Laos, Vietnam, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein
July: Iran, Wallis and Futuna, Namibia, Jordan, Israel, Hong Kong, Chile, Bonaire
August: Taiwan, Cape Verde, Namibia

(Courtesy of Maximiliano Herrera)

Zero monthly national/territorial cold records beaten or tied in 2019 (as of August 15)

No monthly national cold records have been beaten or tied in 2019.

Hemispherical and continental temperature records in 2019

- Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere: 35.9°C (96.6°F) at Noona, Australia, 18 January. The record was beaten again on 26 January, with a minimum temperature of 36.6°C (97.9°F) recorded at Borrona Downs, Australia. This is also the highest minimum temperature on record for the globe for the month of January.

- Highest temperature ever recorded in the world in March: 48.1°C (118.6°F) on 10 March at Roebourne, Australia.

- Highest temperature ever recorded in Asia in March: 46.9°C (116.4°F) at Kapde, India, 25 March. The data comes from a state (not central government) station, and may not be officially recognized, but is supported by data from several nearby stations.

- Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in June in the Southern Hemisphere: 28.9°C (84.0°F) at Funafuti, Tuvalu on 15 June

Bob Henson contributed to this post.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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Dr. Jeff Masters

Dr. Jeff Masters co-founded Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. in air pollution meteorology at the University of Michigan. He worked for the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990 as a flight meteorologist.


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