Misery Index showing temperatures plus dewpoint levels across India on May 19, 2016. Image: Earth Simulator
India just set a new national record heat benchmark when the small city of Phalodi, in northwest India, recorded a high temperature of a whopping 51 degrees Celsius, or 123.8 degrees Fahrenheit, on May 19...
The data, recorded by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), shows that the high temperature eclipsed the previous national high temperature of 50.6 degrees Celsius, which was set way back in 1886.
India is known for its stifling heat during the months of April and May, when the subcontinent heats up ahead of the summer monsoon.
But the temperatures reached this year have been downright dangerous, and are thought to be a contributor to hundreds, if not thousands, of premature deaths.
The heat wave comes as sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean have eclipsed all-time record values, and as the globe has smashed temperature records as if it were going out of style.
On Wednesday, for example, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that the 12 months ending in April 2016 were the most unusually warm 12-straight months in the agency's 137 years of temperature data.
According to NASA, it is almost certain that 2016 will be the planet's warmest year, beating 2015.
According to Chris Burt, a weather historian at Weather Underground, Cambodia and Laos each set all-time record highs for any day of the year during the month of April.
India's record will now join them among the many heat records shattered during 2016 so far, with more still to come.
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