To be honest, 47 degrees Celsius or 51 degrees Celsius, when it’s this hot it tends to turn into one big sticky blur…
We now know which is the hottest month in Dubai, but what is the hottest country in the GCC? And what are the highest temperatures ever recorded in each country?
Well, a report in Gulf Business has just answered those very questions, and it turns out that Dubai and the UAE rarely go past 50 degrees Celsius (despite all those Facebook posts from your friends that show off their dramatic car thermometer readings).
For starters, the highest temperature recorded in the UAE so far this year was 51.2 degrees Celsius in Mezaira, which is near Liwa deep in the Abu Dhabi desert. (Note: all these stats come from the UAE’s official National Centre for Meteorology – NCMS – and they have weather stations all across the desert).
According to local reports, last Friday parts of Saudi Arabia recorded the highest temperatures ever recorded, peaking at a disorienting 53 degrees Celsius.
But that’s not the highest temperature ever recorded in the GCC, oh no: that honour belongs to Kuwait, where in July 2016 the mercury rose to 54 degrees Celsius. That’s the highest temperature ever on record in this region.
The highest temp ever recorded in the UAE is 52.1 degrees Celsius (in July 2002), in Saudi it was 53 degrees last month, in Oman 50.8 degrees in May last year and in Qatar the peak was 50.4 degrees Celsius in July 2010. Meanwhile, Bahrain’s peak is a relatively chilly 48 degrees Celsius.
Despite common conceptions, atmospheric temperatures in Dubai itself rarely hover over 50 degrees Celsius. In fact, in the past few decades, the hottest temperature recorded at a Dubai weather station was 48.5 degrees in August.
But hold on, my car often says it’s over 50 degrees?
Yeah, ours too, but, news flash, those things aren’t that accurate. The technology they use is precise, but the placement of them is the problem.
As the Washington Post pointed out earlier this year, most cars have the ‘thermistors’ in the front of the car, behind the grill. This means it picks up re-radiated heat from the engine, the metal of the car and the road’s surface (ever walked barefoot across sand or a road in the middle of a Dubai summer? Yeah, that intense heat on your feet is similar to what your car’s thermometer picks up).
Think about it, as you walk across the sand in Dubai in the summer, your feet feel way hotter than your arm right? That’s like your car thermometer versus a normal weather station. Car thermometers tend to be far more accurate at night.
Here’s a video that explains why the dramatic temperatures on your car’s thermometer that you always talk about on Facebook are rarely right:
But then you’ve got actual temperatures versus ‘feels like’ temperatures, which means basically that the humidity and wind factor thrown in can mean Dubai ‘feels like’ a temperature much hotter than 48 degrees Celsius. But that’s another story entirely…