UN Weather Agency to Investigate Reported Record Arctic Heat
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said Tuesday it is seeking to investigate record high temperatures reported from inside the Arctic Circle June 20.
At a news conference in Geneva, WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis told reporters the U.N. weather agency is seeking to verify the reported 38 degrees Celsius temperature in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk, amid a prolonged Siberian heat wave and increased wildfire activity.
The WMO says it will confer with Russia’s weather agency, Roshydromet. If the temperature is confirmed, a team of investigators will then search the WMO’s archives to ensure it is indeed a record.
Nullis said the Russian weather agency reports that the region of Eastern Siberia where the record was reported “has very, very cold extremes in winter but is also known for its extremes in summer.”
Even so, she said, Siberia has had a very warm spring, with temperatures running about 10 degrees Celsius above normal.
Nullis said that heat helped drive May temperatures up globally, making it one of the highest temperatures ever.
The WMO reports the Arctic is among the fastest warming regions in the world and is heating at twice the global average. Annual surface air temperatures from 2016 to 2019 in the Arctic have been the highest on record.