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Weather Extremes





The Most Freakish Temperature Rise

On Jan 22, 1943 the temperature at Spearfish, South Dakota, rose from -20 C at 7:30 a.m. to  7 C at 7:32 a.m. - a record breaking 27 C in two minutes


Greatest Snowfall For A Snowstorm

The record for a single snowstorm is 480 cm (189 in), at Mount Shasta Ski Bowl, California, USA, between February 13 and 19, 1959.

Greatest Snowfall In 12 months
Over a 12-month period, 31,102 mm (1,224 in) of snow fell at Paradise, Mt Rainier, Washington, USA, from February 19, 1971 to February 18, 1972.

Driest Place

For the period between 1964 and 2001, the average annual rainfall at the meteorological station in Quillagua, in the Atacama Desert, Chile, was just 0.5mm. This discovery was made during the making of the documentary series Going to Extremes, by Keo Films in 2001.

Highest Waterspout

The highest waterspout recorded was on May 16, 1898, off the coast of Eden, New South Wales, Australia. A theodolite reading from the shore gave its height as 1,528 m. (5,014 ft.).


Greatest Temperature Ranges

The world's greatest temperature ranges are found around the 'cold pole' in Siberia, Russia. Temperatures in Verkhoyansk have ranged05 degrees Celsius, from -68 degrees celcuis to 37 degrees celsuis.  The town is in the Republic if Sakha- an area of 1.19 million miles and has a population of just one million, mainly because its extreme climate.


Heaviest Hailstones
The heaviest hailstones on record, weighing up to 1 kg (2.2 lb.), are reported to have killed 92 people in the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh, on April 14, 1986. The Eighties hailstorm wasn't the first time citizens of the Indian subcontinent have been struck by such freak weather conditions - hailstones thought to be the size of baseballs killed scores of people and 1,600 cattle in 1888, in the Moradabad and Beheri districts of India.


Greatest Submerged Waterfall

The flow of the Sete Quedas do Guaíra (Seven Falls of Guaíra) on the Paraná River, between Brazil and Paraguay, occasionally attained a rate of 50,000 cu m/sec (1.76 million cu ft/sec) before the Itaipu dam submerged the falls in 1982.


Most Sunshine

The annual average at Yuma, Arizona, USA is 91 per cent of the possible hours of sunshine (a mean of 4055 hours out of 4456 possible hours in a year). St Petersburg, in Florida, USA recorded 768 consecutive sunny days from 9 Feb 1967 to 17 Mar 1969.

Lowest Temperature

A record low temperature of -89.2°C (-128.6°F) was registered at Vostok, Antarctica, on July 21, 1983. That's over 100°C below normal room temperature! It's cold comfort to the international team manning a scientific station based at Vostok. They are studying Lake Vostok, which is submerged under 5 km (3 miles) of ice, holding information about hundreds of thousands of years of our natural history.


Most Rainy Days

At a height of 1,569 m (5,148 ft), Mt Wai‘ale‘ale, Kauai, Hawaii, USA, has up to 350 rainy days per annum. Almost perpetual cloud cover at the peak of the mountain ensures about 500 in (12.7 m) of rain a year


Most Intense Rainfall

There are difficulties in reading rainfall for very short periods, but the figure of 38.1 mm (1.8 in) in one minute at Basse Terre, Guadeloupe, in the Caribbean on November 26, 1970, is regarded as the most intense recorded by modern methods.


The  Longest Ice Age

Geological evidence suggests that the Earth endured several ice ages early in its history.  The longest and most severe of these occurred between 2.3 and 2.4 billion years ago and lasted around 70 million years, during this period, the entire Earth probably was covered in ice


Most Thunder Days Per Year

In Tororo, Uganda, an average of 251 days of thunder per year was recorded for the 10-year period 1967–76. The country of Uganda lies between Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has a population of around 20.5 million.


Greatest Flood

The largest freshwater flood occurred 18,000 years ago in the Altay Mountains of Siberia, Russia. An ice-dam blocking a lake broke, allowing water to pour out. The lake was estimated to be 120 km (75 miles) long and 760 m (2,500ft) deep.



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