World’s Most Extreme Weather Records

January 30, 2014 | Environment, Weather

Lake Vostok, Antarctica

Extreme weather is once again getting a lot of attention after several states in the US had been struck by sub-zero temperatures.

Chicago’s temperature plummeted to a freezing -27 Celsius while Minnesota went down a notch to a bone-chilling -40 Celsius.

To give you an idea of just how cold it is, an escapee from Blackburn Correction Complex had actually chosen to turn himself in to the police than face certain death out in the cold.

Some countries have also experienced this extreme kind of weather due to some occasional glitch in the polar vortex.  This however pales in comparison to the world’s most extreme cases of weather ever recorded in history.

World’s most extreme weather records

1. Coldest. July 21, 1983 saw the lowest ever temperature in Vostok, Antarctica – 89.2 Celsius below zero. That would make Minnesota’s record low more like summertime in Antarctica.  NASA’s satellite was able to gauge the temperature on a specific area where other means of data gathering would have failed due to extreme cold. The absence of solar radiation, high elevation, calm air, and clear skies we’re seen as the main causes of the build-up in cold air.

2. Hottest. This is probably how Death Valley in California got its name. Record has it that in 1913 temperatures rose to a blistering 56.7 C, the hottest in history ever since. What made this place extremely hot is its elevation well below sea level and the Sierra Nevada mountain range which acts as a barrier from the Pacific’s moist air resulting in hot dry air accumulating over time.

Atacama Desert, Chile

3. Heaviest rain. The island of La Reunion off the coast of Madagascar in southern Indian Ocean holds the record of having the biggest rainfall in just a span of 24 hours. 71.8 inches of rain engulfed the island on January of 7-8, 1966. The island’s mountainous terrain was held responsible for making the cyclone recurve its path and stayed longer in the island.

4. Deadliest hailstone. Gopalganj, Bangladesh suffered the most catastrophic hailstorm in April 14, 1986, leaving in its wake 92 dead and hailstones the size of a grapefruit. At 1.02 kilograms, these hailstones are heavy enough to cause severe injury or certain death.

5. Longest drought. If you were like most people you would actually think of Africa – it isn’t. October 1903 to January 1918 saw Chile’s driest period in history. Not even a single drop of rain was seen in Arica in the desert of Atacama. That’s a total of 14 years with no rain – at all.

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