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Records falling as temperatures exceed 50 degrees in Iraq

Ben Domensino, Wednesday July 29, 2020 - 14:58 EST

An exceptionally hot air mass is breaking maximum temperature records in the Middle East this week, with the hottest weather yet to come for some areas.

A slow-moving upper-level ridge is allowing hot air to build and linger above the Arabian Peninsula this week, resulting in multiple days of intense and oppressive heat.

On Tuesday, the temperature reached 51.8 degrees Celsius at Baghdad, setting a new record for the capital of Iraq. There were also reports of higher temperatures in other parts of the Middle East during the first half of this week.

Forecast models suggest that temperature will edge above 50 degrees in Iraq each day between Wednesday and Friday, with overnight minimums in the mid thirties in some areas. The highest temperatures will occur in the country’s east, where the mercury could reach around 53 degrees on Thursday. 

Image: Forecast surface temperature in the Middle East on Thursday afternoon, according to the ECMWF-HRES model.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation, the highest temperature on record for the Asia region was 53.9 degrees at Mitribah, Kuwait back in July 21st, 2016.

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