Numerous April heat records were set in China, while Thailand recorded its all-time hottest temperature.
Numerous heat records have been broken across Southeast Asia, China and other parts of the continent in recent days as the region remains in the grip of a dangerously scorching heat wave, with Thailand in particular experiencing unusually extreme conditions. Weather historian Maximiliano Herrera is describing it as the “worst April heat wave in Asian history.”
April and May are typically Thailand’s hottest months, but the heat fueled the country’s all-time hottest temperature late last week. On Friday, Thailand surpassed 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 Celsius) for the first time ever, topping out at 114 degrees (45.4 Celsius) in the town of Tak amid the country’s New Year’s celebration. Residents were advised to stay indoors to avoid heat stroke as several all-time heat records were set in the country.
Arabiaweather.com, a private weather company based in Jordan, reported that Thailand’s previous all-time record high was 112 degrees (44.6 Celsius), set in 2016 in Mae Hong Son province. Other all-time records reached Friday in Thailand include 112 degrees (44.6 Celsius) at Tak Airport and 110 degrees (43.5 Celsius) in Phetchabun.
“Thai authorities have issued health warnings as meteorologists estimate temperatures of up to [122 degrees] in the sun,” according to Arabiaweather.com, which also reported that smog “has caused thousands of people to develop respiratory problems and sore throats in recent weeks.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of weather stations across China have seen their warmest April temperatures on record. Climate specialist Jim Yang tweeted that 109 weather stations across 12 provinces broke their record for high temperature for April on Monday. An additional nine stations tied their April record for high temperature.
In another tweet, Yang noted that Monday’s high of 101 degrees (38.2 Celsius) in Yunhe was the highest April temperature on record in the Zhejiang province, beating the previous record by 1.6 Celsius, while Hangzhou reached 95 degrees (35 Celsius) for the first time ever in April. All that was after the temperature climbed past 95 degrees in 10 Chinese provinces on Sunday, according to Yang.
China also reportedly saw its first tornado of the year this past weekend in Linyi in Shandong province.
China’s hottest months are typically June and July. Last year, the temperature reached as high as 113 degrees (45 Celsius) in Beibei in Chongquing province during a record-setting summer heat wave that dried up rivers and sparked forest fires.
The hot days had been accumulating over the past few weeks, with Yuanjiang in Hunan province having exceeded 95 degrees (35 Celsius) for 22 straight days as of Friday.
Elsewhere in the region, temperatures reached 112 degrees (44.6 Celsius) on Monday in Prayagraj, India. And in Bangladesh, the high temperature reached 109 degrees (43.0 Celsius) in Ishurdi, tying the April record for warmest temperature. Kalewa, Myanmar, set a new April high of 111 degrees (44.0 Celsius), while Nepal got to 107 degrees (41.7 Celsius). Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, reached 105 degrees (40.6 Celsius) on Sunday, “its highest temperature for any month in decades, but still below the record of 42.3 Celsius set in 1960,” Herrera tweeted.
Several cities in Laos also set all-time heat records in recent days, including 107 degrees (41.6 Celsius) reached in Luang Prabang, 107 degrees (41.5 Celsius) in Phonhong, 107 degrees (41.4 Celsius) in Vientiane and 107 degrees (41.4 Celsius) in Sayaboury.
Turkmenistan achieved its highest April temperature on record Thursday with a high of 108 degrees (42.2 Celsius). Little relief was to be found at night, either, with temperatures in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan dropping only to 82 degrees (28 Celsius).
An end to the heat wave is in sight, with temperatures across much of China expected to drop to well below normal late this week.
Source: The Washington Post