In July 2018, Death Valley in California (United States) recorded the hottest month ever registered on the planet. Temperatures reached an average of 42.3°C (day and night combined), which is around a half a degree hotter than the previous year. Last year’s measurements had already beaten a 100 year old record.
It has previously gotten hotter on Earth, but over the period of a whole month, such temperatures have never been seen before. Intense heat is normal in Death Valley in July, but this year was still exceptional, with an average temperature of almost 10°C above the norm for this region. Consider this: temperatures hit at least 49°C over a period of 21 days. From the 24th to the 27th of July, heat levels reached an average of 53°C. The “lowest” temperatures remained above 38°C for ten days.
Remember that Death Valley holds the famous record for the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth, when it hit 57°C on the 10th July 1913. But compared to this record, the heat of July this year was more persistent.
Although the region generally undergoes a hellish July, note that it isn’t the only place to be affected by extreme heatwaves. This Summer, a large part of the west of the United States fried under the sun. The cities of Reno in Nevada, and Palm Springs in California for example, made new monthly temperature records. Los Angeles and San Diego equally recorded their hottest month ever in July, a trend which continued into August.
However, the United States are not the only ones to experience extreme heat. All of the Northern Hemisphere was affected:
– In North America and Canada: several areas in South California, Denver and Montreal.
– In Europe: several parts of Norway, Finland, Sweden, Glasgow (Scotland), Shannon (Ireland), Belfast and Castlederg (Northern Ireland), and also Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands, as well as Copenhagen in Denmark.
– In Eurasia: several regions of central and eastern Russia, Tbilissi in Georgia, and Erevan in Armenia.
– In the Middle East: Quriyat in Oman, which recorded the highest minimum temperature (over a 24 hour period) ever recorded on the 28th of June, at 42.6°C.
– In Africa: Ouargla in Algeria, which may have been subjected to the highest temperature in Algeria – and on the entire African continent – on the 5th July, at 51.3°C.
– In Asia: Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all recorded their respective highest ever temperatures.
Remember that a global interactive map called Earth now allows us to see various temperatures throughout the planet. The map, conceived by computer programmer Cameron Beccario, director of engineering in Indeed Tokyo, Japan, is updated every 3 hours. It uses meteorological data taken from a global forecasting system used by national environmental forecasting centres. The system uses supercomputers to create meteorological models using diverse measures, such as temperature, soil humidity, wind, ocean currents and precipitation.