A sampling of all-time high temperatures reported around the world in 2018 thus far, rounded to the nearest degree Fahrenheit. Most of these were set in late June and early July (see details below). The reading of 51.3°C (124.3°F) at Ouargla, Algeria, is the highest reliably measured temperature on record for Africa. Background image credit: NASA Earth Observatory. Graphic: Weather Underground

By Christopher C. Burt
13 July 2018

(Weather Underground) – The first five months of 2018 were the fourth warmest in global records going back to 1880, according to NOAA. Along the way, a number of extreme heat events have occurred already this year. In recent weeks across the Northern Hemisphere, these records have included an impressive number of all-time highs (an all-time high is the warmest temperature reported on any date at a given location).

Setting an all-time high is no small accomplishment, especially for locations that have long periods of record (PORs). All-time highs are especially noteworthy when you consider that, on average, the planet is warming more during winter than during summer, and more at night than during the day. Urban heat islands are no doubt contributing somewhat to the heat records achieved in large urban areas, but the extreme heat of 2018 has also played out in remote rural areas without any urban heat islands.

As of July 13, the U.S. Records summary page maintained by NOAA showed that 18 U.S. locations had set or tied all-time highs so far this year, as opposed to 10 locations that set or tied all-time lows. There is an even sharper contrast between the number of all-time warm daily lows (40) and all-time cool daily highs (5), which has been a common pattern in recent years.

Here is a summary of some of the more significant heat-related events of the year-to-date around the world, in chronological order. Note that in some cases, extremely high temperatures recorded in the early 20th century are not considered reliable because of instrument placement and/or observing practices (as was the case with the infamous and ultimately disqualified El Azizia world heat record). All of the all-time highs shown below are valid for the climatological records that are considered reliable at a given location. All records are shown in the units used locally, followed by conversions to Celsius or Fahrenheit. (The United States is the only major country on Earth that does not primarily use the metric system.)

NEW ZEALAND (Summer: December-February)

Hottest climatological summer (avg. temp) on record. Some 54 climate stations measured their hottest summer on record (maximum of all sites was 38.7°C (101.7°F) at Alexandra on January 30). January 2018 was the single warmest of any month on record in New Zealand.

PAKISTAN (April 30)

Hottest temperature for the month of April ever measured on Earth, with 50.2°C (122.4°F) at Nawabshah on April 30. […]

U.S.: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (July 6)

All-time record high for the greater Los Angeles/Inland Empire region with an official 120°F (48.9°C) observed at Chino (Inland Empire). The former record was 119°F (48.3°C) in Woodland Hills and Ojai. Other all-time records set for locations with long PORs included:

Santa Ana: 114°F/45.6°C (old 112° June 14, 1917)
Riverside: 118°F/47.8°C (old 118° July 17, 1925)
L.A.-UCLA: 111°F/43.9°C (old 109° Sept. 20, 1934)
Burbank: 114°/45.6°C (old 113° Sept. 12, 1971)
Fullerton Airport (3 miles from Disneyland in Anaheim): 116°F/46.7°C (old 112° September 27, 2010). Certainly one of the worst days ever to visit the “mouse kingdom”.

The 112°F (44.4°C) reading on Avalon Island was likely the hottest temperature ever observed on any of the Channel Islands. [more]

Heat Records Falling Around the World in 2018

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