Middle East cities are hit by the highest temperatures ever, with many viewing temperatures exceeding 122F (50C) every day last week
- Baghdad, Iraq, recorded its highest temperatures this week at 125F (51.7C)
- The city of Basra, also in Iraq, reached 127.4F (53C) Monday and Tuesday
- Records have also been set in Damascus, Syria, which reached 114.8F (46C) on Wednesday
- A measuring station in Houch al-Oumara, in Lebanon, registered 113.72F (45.4C) on Tuesday, which, if confirmed, would be a record for Lebanon.
Cities in the Middle East are experiencing violent heat waves with record breaking temperatures in the regions.
Baghdad in Iraq, the worst-hit country, recorded the highest and second highest temperatures this week, reaching 125F (51.7C) on Tuesday and half a degree cooler on Wednesday.
Cities in the south topped a blazing 122F (50C) every day.
Meanwhile, a measurement station in Houch al-Oumara, in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, registered 113.72F (45.4C) on Tuesday, which, if confirmed, would be a record for the country already struggling with a national electricity shortage due to low fuel supply and an economic crisis.
Records were also broken in Damascus, Syria when temperatures hit 114.8 F (46 C) on Wednesday.
BAGHDAD, IRAQ: Men cool off under outdoor showers as temperatures soar to nearly 125F (52C) earlier this week
BEIRUT, LEBANON: This was the scene as residents basked in sweltering temperatures up to 114.8F (46C) this week in parts of the country
KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT: A man walks past the Al-Qurain Martyr’s Museum earlier this week when the sweltering temperatures hit 129.2F (54C)
DAMASCUS, SYRIA: Temperatures reached 114.8F (46C) on Wednesday as a heat wave entered the Middle East
In Basra, the southern port city of Iraq on the Gulf, temperatures have risen to 122F (50C) or higher every day for the past week, reaching 127.4F (53C) on Mondays and Tuesdays.
It’s because Iraqis are experiencing a lack of affordable electricity and air conditioning due to war and corruption, and many are struggling to keep vital equipment like refrigerators running on small, expensive additional generators.
Maximum temperatures reached 127.4F (53C) yesterday in Amarah, Iraq, just below the national record high temperature of 129F (53.9C).
In Dubai, temperatures are cooler today but still blistering, 44.2 F (44C), while earlier this week Saudi Arabia’s Al Jouf region registered a blistering 118F (47.7C).
And temperatures in Kuwait peaked last Friday at 123.8F (51C). And nearby, on the shores of the Persian Gulf, the combination of desert heat and wave moisture generated a heat index of over 134F (56C) on Monday afternoon in the Kuwaiti city of Salmiyah.
The heat wave is expected to continue and move to Egypt next week.
The excessive heat is caused by high pressure anchored in the Middle East and drifting west across the Red Sea towards Egypt. Under the ‘heat dome’, the sinking air has heated up to extreme levels and cooling of clouds and shade has been prevented.
Due to these extreme temperatures, the air has heated up so much that it has expanded and that the air columns are more than 280 feet higher than average on Tuesday.
A heat wave is setting records in the Middle East, including Kuwait and Lebanon. The excessive heat is caused by high pressure anchored in the region and drifting west across the Red Sea towards Egypt
A worker carries an ice block at a factory in the southern Iraqi port city of Basra amid sweltering temperatures
Earlier this week, an Iraqi man cools down under a public shower on a street in central Baghdad
An Iraqi street vendor sells bottles of cold water during a scorching day in Al-Khilani Square in central Baghdad earlier this week
Meanwhile, NASA has said this June was the warmest ever recorded, equaling last year’s record. Southern Iran and Iraq have the world’s most consistently high temperatures.
The highest recorded air temperature in the past half century was in Kuwait in 2016, where it reached 129.2F (54C). That would officially be the highest ever, but for a 1913 lecture in Death Valley, California, which is now thought to be wrong.