Thursday, 2 August 2018

The ongoing heatwave - in Portugal and South Korea

All-time heat records fall in Korea – Portugal temperature may hit 51°C (123.8°F) in some areas

Electric fans are displayed for sale on a street in the Myeongdong shopping district in Seoul on 1 August 2018. Temperatures in Seoul reached 39.6°C (103.3°F) on August 1, marking the highest for the city in 111 years of recordkeeping. Photo: Ed Jones / AFP / Getty Images

1 August, 2018

Dr. Jeff Masters
1 August 2018

(Weather Underground) – Wednesday, 1 August 2018, was the hottest day in Korean history, as a withering heat wave toppled all-time heat records throughout the peninsula. South Korea set a new all-time heat record of 41.0°C (105.8°F) at Hongcheon, a town in South Korea's northeastern province of Gangwon. This is the highest reading observed anywhere in the nation since 1907, when the country began to compile the data, the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said. The new record came on the 76th anniversary of the former South Korean national record of 40.0°C (104°F), set at Daegu on 1 August 1942.

Both Korean capitals saw their all-time heat records fall on 1 August 2018: Séoul, South Korea with 39.6°C (103.3°F) (previous record 38.4°C on 24 July 1994), and Pyongyang, North Korea with 37.8°C (100°F). (There was also a 37.8°C reading in Pyongyang on 5 August 1961, but this is of questionable reliability, according to weather records expert Maximiliano Herrera.) In an email, Mr. Herrera said that the all-time heat record for North Korea, 40.5°C (104.9°F) set at Hoeryong on 30 July 1977, could not be beaten in this heat wave. That station—located in the hottest part of the nation—was closed years ago, and no longer takes weather measurements. But for duration and intensity, Herrera said that the heat wave of 2018 beats the two other notable heat waves in Korean history, in 1942 and 1994, and is without a doubt is the greatest heat wave in the history of the Korean Peninsula.

Data from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 2,200 people across South Korea experienced heatstroke and heat exhaustion from May 20 and July 30, and 28 heat-related deaths were reported, as noted by the Korea Herald. Major impacts can be expected in North Korea as well.

August 1 also saw all-time heat records fall at a number of stations in China—notably at Dalian and Qingyuan—and in Japan, notably at Sendai. [more]

Hottest Day in Korean History

Weather model for maximum temperatures on Saturday, 4 August 2018. Portugal’s meteorological agency IPMA said on Wednesday, 1 August 2018, that temperatures in the southern region of Alentejo are forecast to reach 47°C (116.6°F) on Saturday, on par with the national record set in 2003. Some weather models suggest that the maximum temperature could reach as high as 51°C (123.8°F) in some areas. Graphic:

1 August 2018 (BNO News) – Temperatures in South Korea reached 41°C (105.8°F) on Wednesday, smashing the country’s all-time record that was set just over a week ago, forecasters say. Meanwhile, Portugal is bracing for extreme heat that could melt Europe’s record.

The Korea Meteorological Administration said the temperature in Hongcheon, a city in the country’s north, reached 41.0°C (105.8°F) at 4 p.m. local time on Wednesday. In Seoul, the temperature hit a local record of 39.4°C (102.9°F).

The temperature in Hongcheon smashes South Korea’s all-time record, which was set only 8 days prior when the temperature hit 40.2°C (104.3°F) near Yeongcheon. The July 24 temperature in turn broke the record of 40°C (104°F) that was set in 1942.

This is ridiculous. I think I am living in a tropical country,” resident Cho Hyun-soo told The Korea Times. “I just came from my break in Bangkok, and it was 34 degrees (93.2°F) there. The weather in Southeast Asia is much cooler than in Korea. I don’t know where I am living.”

The unusually long and intense heat wave follows a rainy season that lasted only 16 days, which is half of the normal average. Forecasters expect that the heat in South Korea will continue for the next few days with little rain in sight.

So far, at least 28 people have died and more than 2,200 others have been treated for heat-related ailments, according to the Yonhap news agency. Because heat-related deaths are historically under-reported, the true death toll is believed to be in the hundreds or thousands.

Large parts of the Northern Hemisphere have experienced unusually high temperatures over the past few months. And the heat is continuing into August for some countries, with Portugal and Spain bracing for a record-breaking heat wave.

Portugal’s meteorological agency IPMA said on Wednesday that temperatures in the southern region of Alentejo are forecast to reach 47°C (116.6°F) on Saturday, on par with the national record set in 2003. Some weather models suggest that the maximum temperature could reach as high as 51°C (123.8°F) in some areas.

If the models are accurate, it would easily melt Europe’s all-time temperature record of 48.0°C (118.4°F), which was recorded in Greece in July 1977. Portugal’s record stands at 47.4°C (117.3°F) while Spain’s record stands at 47.3°C (117.1°F). [more]

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