Weather News

Arctic Circle heat record possibly broken

Ben Domensino, Monday June 22, 2020 - 16:06 EST

A weather station located inside the Arctic Circle registered a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius on the weekend, likely setting a new record so close to the North Pole.

The prospective Arctic maximum temperature record was registered on Saturday at Verkhoyansk, a town in northeastern Russia that is located at a latitude of 67.5 degrees North. This is inside the Arctic Circle and if you were at the equivalent latitude in the southern hemisphere, you would be standing on Antarctica.

The exceptional Arctic warmth was driven by a hot air mass that developed beneath a strong high pressure system late last week. Unlike the southern hemisphere, multiple countries extend from the mid-latitudes inside the arctic circle in the northern hemisphere, providing platforms for warm continental air to develop much closer to the North Pole. This region of warm air will be sticking around this week as well.

A maximum temperature of 38 degrees at Verkhoyansk is about 17-18 degrees above the long-term average for this time of year.

The 38 degree reading has reportedly been accepted by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) as a credible observation. This is believed to be the highest temperature ever recorded inside the Arctic Circle. Impressively, the weather station in question has been collecting temperature observations since 1885.

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