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  • Location: Alston, Cumbria
  • Weather Preferences: Proper Seasons,lots of frost and snow October to April, hot summers!
  • Location: Alston, Cumbria

    The highest temperature recorded in a Stephenson Screen on Earth that has ever been recorded is 57C in Death Valley in July 2013.  However, hotter surface conditions have been recorded by satellite in the deserts of Iran in the summers of 2004 and 2005 where 70C has been recorded: www.weather.com/science/nature/.../extreme-places-death-valley-201305...

    In very strong summer sunshine ground surfaces can heat to over 20C more than air temperatures; so I am not convinced it means air temperatures got anything like this close; however the satellite readings suggest these Iranian deserts are the hottest on Earth in the summer months.


    Given the effects of global warming in recent years, and the fact that there must be some locations in the Sahara and Middle East near (or even below) sea-level where the intense Summer Sun beats down from overhead and where clear skies, subsidence of air to below sea level and absence of cool seas anywhere nearby- all conspire to bring about extreme and brutal heat in June and July worse than that recorded at Death Valley.  The 58C allegedly recorded at Al Aziziyah in Libya in September 1922 (and the very fact of it being September in a town not far from the Med must make this figure suspect anyway)- is now not accepted because it was not deemed to have been recorded in a Standard Stephenson Screen.


    However, if it is ever safe for british meteorologists to set up in Iran we could put a weather station in some of the hottest deserts there (alternatively there must be depressions in the deep Sahara that get very hot that a weather station could be set up):  If we did so and started recording temperatures, it is my betting that we would record over 60C air-temperatures in summer within fifty years.  Such a location would be so brutally hot in summer that folk living there on a permanent basis would be out of the question.

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    Your link should be http://www.weather.com/science/nature/news/extreme-places-death-valley-20130505


    An overview of the satellite observations can be found here - http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/HottestSpot/page1.php

    In 5 out of 7 years satellites measured the hottest land skin temperature in the Lut desert in Iran, with a peak of 70.7°C in 2005.


    A more in depth examination from the American Meteorological Society can be found here - http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2011BAMS3067.1


    In its favour as being the hottest spot, Death Valley is a basin in the lee of high mountains which help to create compressional warming effects, though this could be a possible factor for Iranian deserts also, or the Turpan depression in China which was the hot spot in 2008. An argument for the other great deserts of the world can be made on their sheer vastness compared to California, and their correspondingly larger areas of high temperatures.

    While it was right to rigorously review and ultimately overturn the record from El Azizia - http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html?entrynum=2

    I don't sense quite the same enthusiasm to authenticate the record from Death Valley, despite doubts surrounding it - http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html?entrynum=3

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