Aug 4, 2015

Middle East swelters in heatwave as temperatures top 50C

Baghdad
Iraq
by
Kareem Shaheen and Saeed Kamali Dehghan
,
The Guardian
Iraqis cool themselves in the Tigris in Baghdad, where temperatures are expected to reach 49C this week. Photograph: Mohammed Jalil/EPA
Iraqis cool themselves in the Tigris in Baghdad, where temperatures are expected to reach 49C this week. Photograph: Mohammed Jalil/EPA

A heatwave has engulfed much of the Middle East, sending temperatures and humidity soaring throughout the region. The searing heat, ailing infrastructure and power cuts have combined to create a particularly intolerable climate in an area already notorious for its hot summers. In the southern Iraqi city of Basra, temperatures are expected to hover around 51C for most of the week and reach 52C at the weekend...Experts say the high temperatures, which have come close to breaking regional records, are the result of a high atmospheric pressure ridge hovering above much of the Middle East that has persisted since July.