Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Islamabad, Pakistan (4E) – The world’s hottest place is the Pakistani city of Nawabshah in central Sindh province, which roasted under temperatures reaching 50.2°C (122.4°F) — the hottest April temperature ever recorded on Earth.
The record set on April 30 was reported by French meteorologist Etienne Kapikian, who noted this extraordinary heat broke all prior records for both Pakistan and the Asian continent. The World Meteorological Organization said it has no reason to doubt this record for ferocious heat as does Christopher Burt, a weather extremes expert, who said it’s likely the hottest record ever.
Nawabshah has regularly approached temperatures almost this high since mid-April. Accuweather data shows Nawabshah has exceeded a 113°F every day since April 23. Because of the deadly heat, “dozens” of heatstroke victims required treatment at various hospitals in the state.
Nawabshah’s April record of 122.4°F is slightly hotter than the hottest Phoenix, Arizona, has ever been, a 122°F record set in the summer of 1990. That’s so hot it renders planes unable to fly.
Meteorologists blame the region’s extreme temperatures on a high-pressure system known as a “heat dome” covering the Indian Ocean. A heat dome occurs when hot air is trapped underneath a high-pressure system that acts as a lid, and forces the hot air back down toward the Earth’s surface, where it becomes even warmer.
Pakistan has an unenviable history of historic heat. In June 2015, a five day heat wave in Karachi killed more than 1,200 people while 40,000 other people suffered from heatstroke and heat exhaustion in the catastrophic event.
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