New record of 38°C North of Circle

The World Meteorological Organization is seeking to verify a reported new record temperature north of the Arctic Circle of 38° Celsius.

This was on 20 June in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk amid a prolonged Siberian heatwave and increase in wildfire activity.



Verkhoyansk, located in the northern part of Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), is in a region of Eastern Siberia which has an extreme very harsh dry continental climate (very cold winter and hot summer).

The Verkhoyansk meteorological station had a previous air temperature record of 37.3° C observed on July 25, 1988, according to scientists German Alekseenkov and Vasily Smolyanitsky at the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of the Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorological and Environmental Monitoring (Roshydromet). The station has provided daily measurements since 1885.

Final information on whether this record maximum is for the whole area of the Arctic northward of Polar Circle needs to be assessed when more complete weather data is available.

“A WMO fast-response evaluation team has given tentative acceptance of this observation as a legitimate observation, which is consistent with current upper air observations at the time in Siberia,” said Professor Cerveny,. “This will now be subject to a normal process for a detailed formal review by a panel of WMO atmospheric scientists.”



Once WMO receives confirmation of the temperature from Roshydromet, it will then refer the finding for verification by a team of investigators for its Global Weather and Climate Extremes Archive.  This provides details of  global, hemispheric, and continental extremes (heat, precipitation etc).

source World Meteorological Organization