All-Time Temperature Records for the Eastern Hemisphere in Kuwait and Iraq

Written by on July 26, 2016 in Asia, Rest of World with 0 Comments

Tom Moore
Published: July 22, 2016

Meteorologists encounter weather records all of the time. There are minor ones, like daily records, and there are some that are literally mind-numbing. The nations of Kuwait and Iraq have presented us with the latter over the past couple of days, as extreme heat has placed a choke hold over parts of the Middle East.

All-Time Records 

According to Dr. Jeff Masters and historian Christopher Burt of, Thursday was a historic day in weather history, as the temperature in Mitribah, Kuwait, soared to an eye-popping 129.2 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius).

If this is verified, it would be the Earth’s hottest temperature on record, outside of Death Valley, California, and the hottest temperature recorded in the Eastern Hemisphere.

There is plenty of evidence to verify the Mirtibah record since many locations across the Middle East recorded highs well above 120 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday.

Here are some other high temperatures recorded across the region on Thursday.

City High Temperature (Deg. F)
   Basrah, Iraq 128
   Kuwait City, Kuwait 124
   Baghdad, Iraq 124
   Ahwaz, Iran 122

Death Valley, California, (at Furnace Creek Ranch) holds the current high temperature for the world, with a whopping 134.1 degrees Fahrenheit (56.7 degrees Celsius). There has been plenty of controversy surrounding this temperature, but as of today, it still stands. That same location did record a high temperature of 129.2 Fahrenheit on July 1, 2013, as well.

Via Facebook

Via Facebook

Tirat Tsvi, Israel, also recorded a high of 129.2 degrees on June 22, 1942. Christopher Burt and weather extremes expert Howard Rainford have challenged this temperature, but the Israeli Met Office concluded that the record is valid.

Friday was another scorcher across the Middle East, and it looks like we have another day to add to the weather history logs. After reaching 128 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, Basrah, Iraq, eclipsed that temperature on Friday afternoon, with a recorded high of 129.2 degrees. If verified, that would tie the record set on Thursday at Mitribah, Kuwait.


(MORE: Dangerously Hot Temperatures Will Spread Into The Northeast This Weekend)

Massive Upper-Level Ridge (Dark Red) Across The Middle East Is Producing Incredible Heat.

Setup For Historic Heat

This part of the world is a very hot place during late July. The average high temperature at both Mitribah, Kuwait, and Basrah, Iraq, is 115 degrees. The current pattern in the upper atmosphere is conducive to even more heat.

A massive ridge of high pressure aloft (bulge in the jet stream) is centered right over Iraq, Iran and Kuwait. With high pressure, the air sinks and warms, and it’s keeping the already hot air at the surface in place.

As a result, high temperatures are running greater than 10 degrees above the already miserable average high temperature.

The forecast high temperature for these locations is expected to drop a bit over the next few days, as the ridge begins to weaken. Highs will still be near 120 degrees, however.


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