Weather extremes: freak conditions from around the globe


Heather Saul
Monday 01 July 2013 02:07 BST
Pink lightening during a storm in central Shanghai
Pink lightening during a storm in central Shanghai

The world is no stranger to extreme temperatures and those currently baking in the blistering Arizona heat can testify to that.

The infamous Death Valley has also seen temperatures soar, creeping slowly towards the highest temperature ever recorded on earth there of 56.7C in 1913.

But the world has witnessed even more extreme weather conditions than that of western USA over the last century, including pink lightening during a Shanghai storm and snowflakes larger than a person's head.

On the other end of the scale, temperatures in one part of the world have even dropped as low as a chilly -89C.

Britain's extreme hottest day was not been beaten for ten years and saw the mercury hitting 38.5C in 2003. The coldest day came in at a well below freezing -27.5C, but luckily temperatures that low have not been experienced since 1995.

Unfortunately, Britain could be facing the prospect of slightly more typical washout, rainy summers for the next ten years, according to a group of 25 Meteorologists who met in during a special Met Office conference in June this year.

World’s Highest ever recorded temperature

Death Valley, California 56.7C

Lowest ever recorded temperature

Vostok station, Southern Pole of Cold, -89.2C

Fastest wind speed ever recorded

Barrow Island, Australia, 408km/h

Heaviest rainfall in 12 hours

Foc-Foc, La Reunion, 1,144mm

Heaviest hail

Bangladesh, 1.0kg

Largest snowflake

Montana, 38cm

Highest adjusted sea level pressure (elevation)

Tosontsengel Mongolia 1724.6 metres

Highest concentration for lightening

Kikuka, Congo, up to 158 lightening bolts per km2 each year

Longest lightening bolt

America, 190km

Additional reporting by agencies

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