Home > China, Climate Change > National Heat Records Update. China Heat Intensifies

National Heat Records Update. China Heat Intensifies

August 10, 2013


As of Friday August 9th, the heat wave in eastern Asia continues but in central Europe it has subsided. Some of the highlights below.

Eastern China

This map illustrates quite well where the core of the heat wave in China has taken place. It is dated August 1st, so you can now add 9 more days to number of days of “continuous high temperatures” which means days of 35°C+ (95°F+). Map from the Chinese newspaper ‘Global Times’.

On Wednesday August 7th Shanghai once again broke its all-time heat record with a 40.8°C (105.4°F) temperature, besting the record set just the day before (40.6°C/105.1°F), and also on July 26th. Prior to this summer, the record for Shanghai was 40.2°C (104.4°F) during the summer of 1934. Records in Shanghai date back to 1872. On August 8th the temperature peaked at 40.2°C (104.4°F) and the minimum temperature was a blistering 31.8°C (89.2°F), perhaps the city’s hottest night on record. In Hangzhou, China’s 13th largest city, the temperature hit 41.6°C (106.9°F) today (August 9th), breaking yet again its all-time record set just yesterday. Hangzhou has now had 11 days of 40°C+ (104°F+) heat so far this summer. Prior to this summer, the city had only measured 40°C+ twice in its entire period of record, which goes back to 1956. Eight days this summer have equaled or beaten its previous record high temperature of 40.3°C (104.5°F) set on August 1, 2003.

Climate table for Hangzhou for the past month. The normal daily range of temperature for this period should be 25°-33°C and prior to this past month the all-time maximum high temperature had been just 40.3°C. OGIMET

Even more astonishing is the 43.5°C (110.3°F) measured today (August 8th) at Ningbo City (Fenghua station). This site is almost right on the coast of the Yellow Sea and its previous record high was just 41.1°C (106.0°F). This would appear to be the warmest temperature yet measured anywhere in eastern China since the heat wave began in early July.

The heat has also been felt in Japan and South Korea where Ulsan (South Korea) reached its all-time record with 38.8°C (101.8°F) on August 8th, and Songjeong 39.6°C (103.1°F) on August 9th, just 0.4°C short of South Korea’s national record high of 40.0°C (104.0°F) set at Taegu on August 1, 1940. In Japan, Okinawa tied its all-time record high with a reading of 36.1°C (97.0°F) on August 7th at Nanjo (tied with Ibaruma on July 8, 2012). At least seven other sites in Japan have broken their all-time heat records. Taipei, Taiwan measured 38.3°C (100.9°F) on August 8th, just shy of its all-time record of 38.8°C (101.8°F).

Central Europe

The most dramatic story of the day, however, is the re-emergence of the heat wave in central Europe (with a vengeance!). Final figures are not yet in, but today (August 8th) has most likely been the warmest on record for much of the region. Austria has (again) set its all-time national record with three locations passing the 40°C (104°F) mark (no site has ever reached 40°C in Austrian weather records). The top hot spot was 40.5°C (104.9°F) at Bad Deutsch-Altenburg. The 40.6°C (105.1°F) reading at Neusiedl/See has been disallowed. Austria’s former national record was just set last week on August 3rd with a 39.9°C (103.8°F) at Dellach im Drautal. Slovenia has also surpassed its national heat record today (August 8th) with a 40.8°C (105.4°F) reading at Cerklje ob Krki (please don’t ask me how to pronounce this!) Former record was 40.6°C (105.1°F) at Crnomelj on July 5, 1950. Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, has passed its all-time heat record for five of the past six consecutive days with the highest reading being 40.2°C (104.4°) on August 8th (records go back 163 years to 1850!) Previous to this summer, the record was 38.0°C (100.4°F) in June of 1935. Wildfires have erupted in Bosnia and Greece.

A rhinoceros is hosed down at the Warsaw zoo where temperatures peaked at 37.0°C (98.6°F) on Thursday, August 8th, the warmest temperature ever measured in the city. Photo by Czarek Sokolowski/AP.

Other countries came close to setting their national records:

Bosnia: 42.0°C (107.6°F) at Bihac on August 8th (national record is 43.1°C (109.6°F) at Mostar on August 24, 2007

Hungary: 40.6°C (105.1°F) at Gyor on August 8th (national record is 41.9°C (107.4°F) at Kiskunhalas on July 20, 2007. It would appear that Budapest has broken or come very close to breaking its all-time heat record with a 39.4°C (102.9°F) reading today.

Croatia: 39.8°C (103.6°F) at Karlovac with unofficial readings as high as 45°C (113°F) reported. National record is 42.8°C (109.0°F) at Ploce on August 5, 1981.

San Marino: 39.8° (103.6°F) at Ca Mercato di Serravelle on August 7th (national record is 39.9°C (103.8°F) at San Marino on July 29, 1983

Slovakia: 39.6°C (103.2°F) at Senica on August 8th (national record is 40.3°C (104.5°F) at Hurbanovo on July 20, 2007

Poland: 38.0°C (100.4°F) at Sulejow on August 8th (national record is 40.2°C (104.4°F) at Proszkow on July 29, 1921

Czech Republic: 39.7°C (103.5°F) on August 8th at Brod nad Dyji (national record is 40.4°C (104.7°F) at Dobrichovice on August 20, 2012

As of Friday August 9th the heat wave has subsided in Europe and more record temperatures are unlikely for the time being.

South America

In spite of a brief intense cold snap in July, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina are experiencing unprecedented winter heat. Temperatures have averaged more than 10°F above normal for the past month with readings as high as 103°F in Brazil and Bolivia, 100°F in Paraguay and 97°F in Argentina. The very unusual circumstances of heat alerts in the middle of winter have been issued in some locations.

KUDOS: Maximiliano Herrera for much of the above information.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

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