Britain’s burning: As UK touches 40 degrees Celsius for first time, a look at hottest places in the world

It was terrible Tuesday for the United Kingdom as the mercury reached an all-time high , leading to an outbreak of wildfires. Temperatures ...

It was terrible Tuesday for the United Kingdom as the mercury reached an all-time high, leading to an outbreak of wildfires.

Temperatures soared to cross the 40 degrees Celsius mark across London and other parts of the United Kingdom, making it the hottest day the country has ever experienced.

The extreme heat led to several blazes across the country, which firefighters described as "absolute hell".

Heathrow was first to reach the 40 degrees Celsius barrier – breaking the old record of 38.7 degrees Celsius (102F) measured in Cambridge in 2019. But hottest of all on Tuesday was Coningsby in Lincolnshire, which recorded 40.3 degrees Celsius (104.5F).

At least 34 parts of the country broke the UK's previous national record of 38.7 degrees Celsius, the Met Office said stretching from West Yorkshire to Surrey.

Staggeringly, meteorologists calculated that Britain was hotter than 98.9 per cent of the Earth's surface.

As Britain burns in the sweltering heat, here’s a look at some of places across the world that have been just too hot to handle.

Death Valley, California

Furnace Creek in America has lived up to its name as it holds the record for hottest air temperature ever recorded.

According to the World Meteorological Organization's Global Weather & Climate Extremes Archive, temperatures in Death Valley reached international extremes when they hit 56.7 degrees Celsius in 1913.

Although some scientists debate the reliability of historic temperature readings, Death Valley reportedly hit 54.4 degrees Celsius in the summer of 2020. So there's little doubt that this is one of the hottest places on Earth.

Lake Havasu City, Arizona

For the residents of Lake Havasu City in Arizona, the summer of 1994 will remain unforgettable. The city recorded a burning temperature of 53.3 degrees Celsius — a record which is yet to be broken.

California's Death Valley has the highest recorded temperature. AFP

Dasht-e Lut, Iran

This desert plateau has the hottest ground temperatures on the planet – satellite measurements taken between 2003 and 2009 found a maximum temperature of a staggering 70.7 degrees Celsius in 2005.

Needless to say, it’s uninhabited and there is no vegetation or animal life.

Also read: Hot as hell! What’s behind Europe’s deadly heatwave?

Kebili, Tunisia

Kebili is a town in the south of Tunisia, and is one of the oldest oases in North Africa. According to the World Meteorological Organization, Kebili has the highest temperature ever recorded in Africa of 55 degrees Celsius in 1931.

While this recording has been disputed, mid-July temperatures regularly reach around 40.9 degrees Celsius on a regular basis.

Mitribah, Kuwait

Mitribah, a remote area of northwest Kuwait, hit a sweltering 53.9 degrees Celsius on 21 July 2016. This is the highest temperature ever recorded for the continental region of Asia.

Also read: Also read: Unbearable UK: Why are trains cancelled, flights grounded when there is a heatwave?

Aziziyah, Libya

This small town located close to Tripoli, claimed the title of hottest place on earth – in 1922 when the temperature was recorded as a sweltering 58 degrees Celsius.

However, it was stripped of its title in 2012 when meteorologists declared this invalid due to a number of factors, including the inexperience of the person recording the temperatures.

It is noteworthy that the town still regularly experiences temperatures of over 48 degrees Celsius in midsummer.

A boy drinks water from a pipe at the water supply plant during heatwave in Jacobabad, in southern Sindh province, Pakistan. AFP

Turbat and Jacobabad, Pakistan

In May 2017, Turbat experienced blistering heat reaching about 53.7 degrees Celsius, one of the hottest temperatures recorded in Asia.

This was only rivalled by the temperature recorded in Jacobabad in Sindh province, which saw the mercury hovering at 51 degrees Celsius in 2022, making it the hottest place on the planet in 2022.

Also read: Explained: How heatwave affects your mental health

Basra, Iraq

A temperature of 53.9 degrees Celsius was recorded at Basra International Airport in Iraq on 22 July 2016.

Timbuktu, Mali

Best known for being the middle of nowhere, Timbuktu is also a hot-hot-hot place. Sitting on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, it recorded a high of 54.5 degrees Celsius.

Tirat Tsvi, Israel

This small kibbutz of Tirat Tsvi (population: 642) recorded a temperature of 54 degrees Celsius in June 1942. The town lies 722 feet (220 metres) below sea level.

Despite its burning heat, the town is one of the largest grower of dates in Israel.

With inputs from agencies

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