Publication Date July 22, 2016

Two Middle East locations hit 129 degrees, hottest ever in Eastern Hemisphere, maybe the world

Temperatures simulated by the GFS model in the Middle East on Friday reached 129 degrees (54 Celsius). Image: WeatherBell

The temperature in Mitribah, Kuwait, surged Thursday to a blistering 129.2 degrees (54 Celsius). And on Friday in Basra, Iraq, the mercury soared to 129.0 degrees (53.9 Celsius). If confirmed, these incredible measurements would represent the two hottest temperatures ever recorded in the Eastern Hemisphere.


In Fujairah, on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates, the dew point — a measure of humidity — reached 90 degrees (32 Celsius) at 4 p.m. local time Thursday. The 90-degree dew point, combined with the air temperature of 97 degrees (36 Celsius), computes to a heat index of over 140 degrees (60 Celsius).

However, this combination of temperature and humidity is so extreme that it’sbeyond levels the heat index is designed to measure. The index, developed by R.G. Steadman in 1979, is actually only intended to compute values up to about 136 degrees.

In Bandar Mahshahr, Iran, on Thursday, the air temperature soared to 106 degrees (41 Celsius), which, combined with a dew point of 86 (30 Celsius), would produce a heat index over 140 (60 Celsius), also over the limit. These conditions were only slightly less extreme than July 31 last year, when Bandar Mahshahr posted an air temperature of 115 degrees (46 Celsius) and dew point of 90 (32 Celsius), which resulted in an over-the-limit heat index of 165 degrees (74 Celsius). Bandar Mahshahr sits adjacent to the Persian Gulf in southwest Iran