Summer has allegedly arrived in the UK, a signal for the Weatherwise team to get some well-deserved rest and lap up the Vitamin D and rays until work begins again in late September (Oh What a Night?)

Some like it hot?

Except this summer, thus far, has been a bit pathetic to be honest and has made us think of how the UK heat compares with other countries and cities. It compares badly!

The hottest city in the world is Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It has the highest average annual temperature and rainfall is minuscule, with just 22 days of it on average. Its climate to us in Leicester would seem unbearable, but we suppose that homes, offices as well as cars run air-conditioning 24/7 and you’d only feel the heat when outside a building or vehicle. Mecca is regarded of the birthplace of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and attracts millions of Muslims for its two main pilgrimages, which take place outside.

The weather in Mecca is startling ferocious in its heat. Its highest recorded shade temperature nearly reached 50 Celsius and its daily average is 31 degrees, throughout the year!

Death Valley

Yet Mecca’s record high pales next to California’s Death Valley, which last year recorded a sweltering air temperature of 54 degrees Celsius on Sunday 16 August 2020. You’d think a place like this would be devoid of nature but, in fact, six species of fish survive in water there that nearly reaches boiling point at 93 degrees! The one inch blue pupfish survive but are severely endangered, as you’d perhaps expect in that sort of aqua environment. The area is festooned with wildflowers and attracts millions of bees, butterflies and insects – presumably all carrying their own portable fans? Humans would struggle to survive in Death Valley when temperatures soar – perhaps why it got the name?


Like Mecca, and unlike Death Valley, Bangkok is densely populated. And hot! It has almost 11 million people living there and it has a high average temperature all year. Unlike Mecca and Death Valley, though, it has monsoon seasons lasting from mid May to early October and if you like rain, visit Bangkok in September to get drenched. Its record low temperature is 10 degrees which is a typical spring or autumn day in the UK. Its record high was 104 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in April, its hottest month.

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