The weather is the most talked about topic in the UK; with 9 out of 10 Brits mentioning the matter every 6 hours. Nonetheless, after this article an overcast sky and light drizzle will become a welcome sight. Some of the following records are from some of the most hostile and unthinkable environmental conditions on the planet.
- Extreme Heat: 56.7was recorded in Death Valley, California on July 10th, 1913. At that temperature, an egg would be able to cook on an asphalt pavement in less than 20 minutes. Temperatures in Death Valley regularly exceed 50, hence the name. For reference, the hottest temperature ever recorded in the UK was 38.5 in Faversham in Kent during the summer ‘heatwave’ of 2003.
- Extreme Cold: a soviet station in Antarctica recorded a temperature of -89.2 on July the 21st in 1983. Fortunately there was no one there to witness this spectacle. However, a small town in Russia named Oymyakon, is known as the coldest inhabited place on Earth with an average January temperature of -46.4. In temperatures like these, indoor plumbing fails to function, forcing residents to use outhouses. The people of Oymyakon are largely carnivorous as crops are unable to grow and ice cubes of horse blood are a known local delicacy.
- Drought: Arica, Chile holds the record for the longest time without a single drop of rainfall. It underwent 173 months (roughly 14 years) with out rainfall back in the early 1900’s.
- “Wetness”: Cilaos, on the island of reunion in the Indian Ocean (just off the coast of Madagascar) experienced 182.49 cm of rainfall, over a period of 24 hours. Which is roughly the same height as the average Montenegrin man.
- Largest hailstone: 20cm in diameter. Get your ruler out and let that sink in for a second. That is only 2cm less than an official size 5 football. This freak of nature was found in Vivian, South Dakota. At this size, the hailstone was predicted to have fallen at around 105 mph. Slightly more odd, in a report of a hail storm in 1882, multiple living frogs were reported to have appeared inside large hailstones in Dubuque Iowa.
- Biggest temperature change: The small town of Fairfield Montana experienced a drop in temperature of 37 in a 12-hour period from 7 °C at midday to -30°C midnight.