Temperatures skyrocketed in parts of Iraq, Iran and Kuwait earlier this week as a storm of air swept through stores in the Middle East. AccuWeather meteorologists say unusually hot conditions began to form across the area over the weekend, but on Monday the violent heat peaked for many residents.
Temperatures plunged to more than 50 degrees Celsius on Monday in parts of Iraq, Iran and much of Kuwait. A reference station located in Abadan, Iran, surpassed the staggering temperature of 126 F (52.2 C) on Monday.
Much of Kuwait, especially locations off the Persian Gulf, weighed temperatures between 122 and 124 F (50 and 51 C) on Monday afternoon. The country’s capital, Kuwait, lost the worst of its heat earlier this week, but rose to 46.3 degrees Celsius on Monday.
Even the coolest report in Kuwait on Monday was brutally hot. A station in Kuwait’s Nuwasib, located in the southeastern part of the country near the Persian Gulf coast, managed to record a high temperature of 44.1 C on Monday.
This image shows observed air temperatures on Tuesday afternoon, local time, in areas of Iraq, Kuwait and Iran. (AccuWeather)
“Extremely hot conditions have spread to areas of Kuwait, Iraq and Iran recently as a result of high pressure overcoming the region,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Alyssa Smithmyer.
Due to the location of this high pressure area earlier this week, an unusually warm air mass was able to flow directly into this part of the Middle East. This warm air, when combined with the bright sunshine and the dry earth, allows the air temperatures near the surface to be well above normal.
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Meteorologists say that while mid to late June is one of the hottest years of the year for the Middle East, the region’s extreme drought has exacerbated the problems recently.
Since March, parts of eastern Iraq, southern Iran and much of Kuwait have recorded only between 0.25 and 0.50 inches of rainfall. These areas are usually very dry, but rainfall of this level puts many sites at less than 50 percent of normal by early spring.
If there was more moisture in the top layer of soil throughout the area, the sun’s rays would have to work to evaporate that moisture first, before working to heat the air. Without moisture, radiation from the sun is free to heat the air directly near the surface.
This latest heat wave comes after a prolonged heat wave earlier this month. In early June, parts of Iran, Iraq and Kuwait fell for almost a week with temperatures well above 49 degrees Celsius.
A dry and hot climate leaves this part of the Middle East at risk for other atmospheric threats, such as dust and sandstorms. In fact, the unusual heat at the beginning of the month came immediately after several sandstorms that left thousands of people across Iraq panting for air.
AccuWeather meteorologists report that heat in much of Iraq, Iran and Kuwait will subside in the coming days. In fact, some locations may even experience one or two days colder than average conditions by the end of the week.
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