11 extreme weather records

Weather records around the world

At a time when North America has recently seen its temperatures plummet (down to -40°C in Minnesota), we thought it would be a good idea to recall a few weather records that have occurred during our era around the world. « Everyone is interested in extremes: the hottest, the wettest, the windiest, so creating a database of professionally verified records is useful for everyone, » says Randall Cerveny of theWorld Meteorological Organization (WMO). Here are the most extreme weather records (temperatures, precipitation and other facts…)!

Lowest temperature: -93.2°C

According to theWMO, the lowest temperature ever recorded was -93.2°C, in August 2010, in Vostok, Antarctica. The absence of solar radiation, clear skies, calm air without too much wind for a long time and at high altitude (3,420 meters) were responsible for this bitter cold. In 1983, a temperature of -89.2°C had already been recorded.

Highest temperature: 56.7°C

With an average July high of 46.7°C, summer in California’s Death Valley can be a scorcher. But it was the summer of 1913 that entered the record books. The maximum temperature of 56.7°C was officially recognized as the hottest ever recorded in recent years, according to the WMO.

The biggest rush in a minute

This record is held by Unionville, Maryland, where on July 4, 1956, 31.2 millimeters of rain fell in one minute. To give you an idea, in Hong Kong, the black alert signal is raised if rainfall exceeds 70 millimeters in an hour.

Highest precipitation in 24 hours

The heaviest rainfall in a single day occurred with the passage of cyclone Denise at Foc-Foc, on the island of La Réunion. Some 1.83 m of rain fell in 24 hours, from January 7 to 8, 1966.

The heaviest hailstone

The heaviest hailstone was discovered during a hailstorm in Gopalganj, Bangladesh, on April 14, 1986. The storm killed 92 people and included a hailstone weighing 1.02 kilos.

Longest drought on record

The longest drought in history was measured in years. There was not a single drop of rain in Arica, Chile, for over 14 years, from October 1903 to January 1918: a total of 173 months.

Highest cold-water geyser

Located in Andernach, Germany, Geysir Andernach usually blows water between 30 and 60 meters high. The highest ejection reached 61.5 meters on September 19, 2002. Cold-water geysers are different from natural hot-water geysers. Cold underground water emerges from a drilled well. The Andernach is well over 350 metres deep.


Flickr – benontherun.com

The coldest road

The Kolyma Highway (M56) in Russia is the coldest road on Earth. Temperatures once dropped to -67.7 degrees Celsius. One section of the 2,031 km-long road is called the  » Road of Bones  » in memory of the prisoners from the Sewostlag labor camp who died during the road’s construction and were buried beneath it.

The largest non-polar ice pack

You don’t have to live in the polar regions to be stuck in the middle of a vast ice pack. The largest pack ice outside the poles is Canada’s Yukon Territory, which lies within the 21,980 km² Kluane National Park and Reserve.

The largest desert

No, not the Sahara. A desert is defined as an area with little or no precipitation. The world’s largest desert is therefore Antarctica, which measures 14,000,000 square kilometers and records just 50 millimeters of precipitation per year. The Sahara, at 9.1 million square kilometers, according to the Guinness Book of Records, is only the largest hot desert.

The populated area with the lowest temperature

The coldest permanently inhabited place is the Siberian village of Oimiakon, in Russia. The temperature once dropped to -68°C in 1933, which is also the coldest temperature recorded outside Antarctica.