13 Weird Weather Facts

by Deb on August 5, 2010

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  1. The hottest recorded temperature was 57.8C or 136F in Al’Aziziyah, Libya in 1922.
  2. The hottest recorded temperature in Australia was 50.7C or 123F in Oodnadatta, South Australia in 1960.  Personally I’ve been in 48C and that was hot enough!
  3. The coldest recorded temperature was -89.2C or -128.6F in Vostok Station, Antarctica in 1983.
  4. The coldest recorded temperature in Australia was -23C or -9.4F in Charlotte’s Pass, New South Wales in 1994.  I know I’ve done -16C in the US and -5C here, that was in the same town as the 48C!
  5. The place most likely to be struck by lightning is central Africa, especially the Democratic Republic of Congo, which can have more than 70 strikes per square kilometre in a year.
  6. The place in Australia most likely to be struck by lightning is Darwin airport.
  7. The strongest wind gust ever recorded was 484 +/- 32km/hr (301 +/- 20 mph) during a tornado near Oklahoma City in 1999.
  8. The most destructive weather event in Australia was Cyclone Tracy, which flattened Darwin on Christmas Eve 1974.  It destroyed 70% of the buildings in the city and killed 71 people.  That year Santa never came (Hoodoo Gurus, Tojo).
  9. The largest and most intense cyclone ever recorded is Super Typhoon Tip in 1979.  At it’s largest it was 2,220km wide with peak winds of 305km/hr, it also set a record for lowest recorded sea level air pressure of 870 mbars.
  10. The longest heat wave is generally regarded as 160 days above 37.8C (100F) at Marble Bar in Western Australia, from October 31st 1923 until April 7th 1924.  Where I live now we had 17 days above 40C a couple of years ago, lucky we all have air conditioning!
  11. The coldest winter in Europe in the last 500 years is regarded as the Great Frost of 1709.  Trees exploded from the cold and the wheat crop failed, the subsequent famine is estimated to have killed over 600,000 people.
  12. The highest average annual rainfall is 13.3m in Lloro, Colombia.
  13. No rain has ever been recorded in the Antofagasta region of the Atacama desert in Chile.
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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen August 5, 2010 at 11:26 am

I am not sure which of those weather extremes I’d rather have to live with. As long as I didn’t have to go outside and I had heat and/or AC, I guess it’d have to be hot and cold. Wind just scares me.
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Deb August 5, 2010 at 6:32 pm

I cope with heat much better than cold, but I usually have air conditioning!

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Brenda August 5, 2010 at 11:32 am

Yes, we’ve really been having odd weather.
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snarkster August 5, 2010 at 11:46 am

yikes to #1!!!! i wonder if that would cause 2nd or 3rd degree burns?

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Deb August 5, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I know people who’ve had second degree sunburn from staying out all day. It’s an interesting question – would the extreme heat also mean increased UV?

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Heather August 5, 2010 at 1:23 pm

At least in extreme cold you can always add layers. It’s a lot harder to cool down than it is to warm up!

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Shelley Munro August 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I remember the Darwin Cyclone because my uncle was living there at the time. It was a long wait before we could get a phone call through. My uncle lost all his tropical fish. They blew away.
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Deb August 5, 2010 at 6:36 pm

The Tracy exhibition at the museum is amazing, it would have been terrifying to live through.

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Anne August 5, 2010 at 10:31 pm

I better stay away from Congo. =) Cool facts! =)
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Jennie August 5, 2010 at 10:59 pm

This makes me feel better (?) about the weather we’re having right now. We’ve been at 90F+ since the beginning of May. Now I know it could be worse! :) Cool facts!

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Pamela August 5, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Great list – very grateful my area is not on the list as the hottest or coldest!

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Harriet August 5, 2010 at 11:33 pm

It’s been pretty hot here recently. That’s for sure.

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Caitlin August 6, 2010 at 5:55 am

Interesting facts! It has been amazingly hot here to the point it feels like world records but yet I know it is not close.
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Gwenrule62 August 6, 2010 at 10:41 am

I lived 50 years of my life in Phoenix Az and we regularly had temps over 100 degrees but we try to keep it quiet. Tourists you know. One fact not on here is that Arizona has many days when the lowest temp and the highest temp occur in Arizona on the same day.
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