Northern hemisphere heatwaves

Monday 07th Sep 2015 by theWeather Club

Whilst the UK avoided extended periods of significantly hot weather this summer, other parts of the Northern Hemisphere suffered prolonged and devastating heatwaves. 

Closer to home, much of the southern Mediterranean – particularly Spain, Portugal, France and Germany - experienced temperatures in the 40s during late June and July, triggering health and forest fire alerts across the region. The Spanish cities of Cordoba, Seville and Toledo were some of the worst affected with temperatures up to 44oC in some areas in late June. Germany registered a new all-time temperature record of 40.3oC.

India, Pakistan and the Middle East also suffered deadly heatwaves. In southern Pakistan, more than 65,000 people were taken ill and more than 1,200 people died from heatstroke as temperatures climbed well over 40oC for extended periods, in what has been one of the most sustained heatwaves in the country since records began. 

Parts of the Middle East also suffered a number of prolonged heatwaves through spring and summer, with the mercury creeping well into the 40s at times, igniting fires that damaged homes and infrastructure. 

In fact, on 31st July, air temperature in the city of Bandar Mahshahr in Iran reached 46oC, and the heat index (the temperature it actually ‘feels like’) peaked at an astonishing 74oC – potentially one of the highest levels ever experienced, though there are no official records of heat index.