Scorching heat in the Middle East produces a temperature of 126 degrees in Iran

Early this week, temperatures skyrocketed in parts of Iraq, Iran and Kuwait as a blistering mass of air built up over the Middle East. AccuWeather Forecasters say unusually hot conditions began to build up in the region over the weekend, but Monday ushered in the height of brutal heat for many residents.

High temperatures on Monday soared above 122 F (50 C) in parts of Iraq, Iran and much of Kuwait. A reporting station in Abadan, Iran, peaked at a whopping 126 F (52.2 C) on Monday.

Most of Kuwait, especially locations outside the Persian Gulf, peaked between 122 and 124 F (50 and 51 C) Monday afternoon. The nation’s capital, Kuwait City, missed the worst of the heat early this week, but climbed to 115 F (46.3 C) on Monday.

Even the coolest hotline in Kuwait was sweltering on Monday. A station in Nuwasib, Kuwait, located in the southeastern part of the country near the coast of the Persian Gulf, still recorded a high temperature of 111°F (44.1°C) on Monday.

This image shows observed air temperatures on Tuesday afternoon, local time, in parts of Iraq, Kuwait and Iran. (BatteryWeather)

“Recently, extremely warm conditions have developed in parts of Kuwait, Iraq and Iran as a result of high pressure overtaking the region,” explains AccuWeather meteorologist Alyssa Smithmyer.

The location of this high-pressure area early this week allowed an unusually hot air mass to flow directly into this part of the Middle East. This hot air, combined with scorching sunshine and dry soil, causes air temperatures near the surface to significantly exceed normal levels.

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Forecasters say that while mid-to-late June is one of the hottest parts of the year for the Middle East, the area’s extreme drought has exacerbated problems of late.

Since March, only between 0.25 and 0.50 millimeters of rain has fallen in parts of eastern Iraq, southern Iran and much of Kuwait. These areas tend to be very dry, but the amount of rain at this level has left many sites below 50 percent of normal levels since early spring.

If more moisture were available in the region’s top layer of soil, the sun’s rays would have to work to evaporate that moisture before working to warm the air. Without the moisture, radiation from the sun is free to directly heat the air near the surface.

This most recent bout of scorching heat comes after a prolonged heat wave earlier this month. At the beginning of June, parts of Iran, Iraq and Kuwait continued to breed almost a week with high temperatures well above 120 F (49 C).

A dry and hot climate puts this part of the Middle East at risk from other atmospheric threats, including dust and sandstorms. In fact, the unusual heat at the beginning of the month arrived just after several sandstorms left thousands of Iraqi residents gasping for breath

AccuWeather forecasters say heat will ease in much of Iraq, Iran and Kuwait in the coming days. Some locations may even experience a day or two cooler than average towards the end of the week.

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