While the UK has seen a brief spell of hot weather this week followed by thunderstorms in some areas, heat and rainfall have also been making headlines in other parts of the world. The North Pacific hurricane season has also gathered speed over the last month.
Across parts of Iraq, western Iran, Kuwait and northern Saudi Arabia, extremely high temperatures have been recorded over recent days. On Thursday Basrah Airport, Iraq reached 53.4C, while Mitribah in northern Kuwait recorded 54.0C. Both of these temperatures, subject to confirmation, are new national records and the 54.0C recorded at Mitribah is among the highest temperatures ever recorded in Asia.
The highest ever temperature recorded globally was 56.7C at Death Valley, California, USA on 10 July 1913.
The high temperatures will continue today (Friday) with 53.6C recorded at 1200 GMT at Basrah Airport, Iraq, but the weekend should see a break from the heat as northwesterly winds bring cooler air to the region.
Heavy rainfall has brought disruption to northeastern parts of China this week with a deep area of low pressure enhancing the local rainfall pattern. On Tuesday the city of Xingtai in Hebei province received almost twice the average rainfall for July in the space of 24 hours, recording 295mm. On Wednesday, the capital Beijing recorded 281mm rain in 24 hours, leading to flash floods, significant travel disruption across the region and loss of life.
The next week looks likely to bring further heavy rainfall to the area with strong winds forecast through the Yellow Sea this weekend, enhancing the coastal flood risk.
Our blog on 5 July reported that it had been a very slow start to the eastern North Pacific hurricane season with the first storm (Agatha) not forming until 2 July. Since then this region has made up for lost time with a total of six tropical storms in the last three weeks, three of which have become hurricanes. One of these hurricanes, Darby, has tracked from the eastern to the central North Pacific and is set to cross the islands of Hawaii this weekend. Although it has weakened to a tropical storm it is still likely to bring winds of near 65 mph, heavy rain and high surf to the islands. Tropical storm warnings are in force with a risk of flash flooding in some areas.
The active spell in the eastern North Pacific is continuing with the formation of Tropical Storm Georgette today. 2016 now ties with 1985 for the record number of tropical storms (seven) to form in this region in July in records dating back to 1949.
Official warnings for the tropical cyclones in the Central North Pacific are produced by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. The Met Office routinely supplies predictions of cyclone tracks from its global forecast model to regional meteorological centres worldwide, which are used along with guidance from other models in the production of forecasts and guidance. You can keep up to date on current tropical storms via @metofficestorms on Twitter and through our Storm Tracker page.
Across central and eastern parts of the US hot and very humid weather is expected this weekend, with many central and southern states seeing temperatures well into the 30’s Celsius. The heat index, which is a measure of heat and humidity, will be in the range of 35-40C and as a result may have some health impacts for residents and tourists in the area. However, next week should see a return to fresher conditions with temperatures returning to more normal levels.