What is the hottest temperature ever recorded in the UAE?
It’s hot. Might be too hot…
With ambient temperatures outside feeling warm enough for you to fry an egg on your forehead, we can’t help but wonder — how hot can this place actually get?
Over the weekend a location in Al Ain, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, managed to clock in with a temperature of 51ºC. But it can go hotter.
What is the hottest temp ever recorded in the UAE ?
The official record for the UAE’s highest ever temp — and remember these are recorded in the shade, by specialist calibrated equipment, so the Insta Story screenshots of your car’s thermometer don’t count Susan — was July 2002, an eye-sweating 52.1ºC (125.78ºF).
Pillars in the moist
In terms of ‘feeling’ hot (not to mention hair-do integrity), humidity is important too. And care of its coastal location that’s something Dubai knows a lot about.
Disclaimer — gross sciency stuff inbound. When we’re warm, our bodies sweat as part of their inbuilt equilibrium mechanism. The energy exchange from the evaporation of that sweat is what cools us down.
When weather reports are telling us there are high levels of humidity in the air (like for example those figures of 90 per cent we’re looking down the barrel of at the moment), it means that the air is saturated with moisture. This then leads to your sweat not being absorbed, and thus the body, your body, all of our bodies, remain uncooled. Pro tip: Avoid wearing grey. Or leather.
High humidity levels in combination with high temperatures are the reason ‘feels like’ indexes on weather apps can have a bit of a (quite literal) meltdown when looking at UAE weather.
Despite what it feels like in the 15 seconds between the air con of your home/work and the air con of your car/the Metro — when it comes to the hottest outright temperature on earth, Dubai is a heavyweight alright, but it isn’t the reigning champ.
There’s a lot of dubious-looking data collected from potentially unreliable (or unreliably set up) equipment knocking around in the annals of meteorological records. But the highest temp recognised by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), is 56.7C recorded in Death Valley on July 10, 1913.
Many meteorologists have cast doubt on this and other fantastical readings from around that time, pointing to the fallibility of the equipment used to collect the data in the early 20th Century.
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It was on this basis the previous record holder, a 58ºC high day in Al Azizia, Libya, (September 13, 1922) was stripped of its title. Issues of accuracy can also arise from equipment being exposed to direct sunlight. We’re measuring air temp remember Susan, not the actual power of the sun.
In more recent (and therefore apparently reliable times), we’re pretty sure the figure of 54.4ºC recorded in California’s appropriately named Death Valley, USA, is accurate — so that’s the discerning weather geek’s pick for top hot spot.
Locally it’s Mitribah in Kuwait currently holding the golden thermometer with a temperature of 53.3ºC recorded back in 2011.
We’re not saying we want the UAE to go for the record, but a) it already has a bigger and more impressive record collection than people that like jazz. B) If it’s going to be outrageously hot anyway, may as well whack the thermostat up an extra notch and take home some clout for it.