UAE weather: Temps of over 50ºC recorded in the shade
Corr what a scorcher…
If you felt a little like you were melting into a puddle of your constituent liquids on Wednesday July 28, there’s a good reason for that.
The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) shared the highest recorded temperature of the day via Twitter — 50.9°C observed at around 3pm in the Al Dhafrah region of Abu Dhabi. That’s good melting weather, and it’s close but it’s not the hottest it’s been this year.
Earlier this summer a location in Al Ain, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, managed to clock in with a temperature of 51ºC.
Humidity scores, although high have been thankfully shy of the full 90-100 per cent that can be seen this time of year.
#أعلى_درجة_حرارة سجلت على الدولة هذا اليوم 50.9 درجة مئوية في بدع دعفس (منطقة الظفرة) الساعة 15:00 بالتوقيت المحلي لدولة الإمارات.#The_highest_temperature recorded over the country today is 50.9°C in Bada Dafas (Al Dhafrah Area) at 15:00 UAE Local Time
— المركز الوطني للأرصاد (@NCMS_media) July 28, 2021
Over the next four days we can expect relatively similar temperatures in coastal regions, with hot hazy and conditions and occasional cloud cover, temporarily locking some higher humidity levels in. Temps are expected to remain higher in land.
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).
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.
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.
How does that compare on the world stage..?
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.
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.