Weather Records

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Lowest mean annual rainfall:

0.1mm, Pacific coast of Chile

Driest place:

14 years without rain, Iquique, Chile (parts of the Chilean Atacama Desert may have passed several decades without rain)


Largest single hailstone:

1kg, Gopalganj, Bangladesh, 14 April 1986

Largest hailstone aggregates:

3.4kg, Hyderabad, India, 1939; 4kg, Yüwu, China, 1902

Highest death toll:

246, Moradabad, India, 20 April 1888



Average afternoon dewpoint >28.9 °C, Aseb, Eritrea


Largest tabular iceberg:

c.33000km2, off Scott Island, Southern Ocean, November 1956


Highest surface pressure:

1085.7hPa, Tosontsengel, Mongolia, 19 December 2001

Lowest surface pressure:

870hPa, within Typhoon Tip, west of Guam, Pacific Ocean, 12 October 1979


Greatest yearly average:

11873mm, Mawsynram, Meghalaya State, India


13299.44mm, Lloro, Colombia

Lowest yearly average:

0.5mm, Quillagua, Chile

Most in one year:

26461mm, Cherrapunji, India, 1 August 1860 to 31 July 1861

Most in one day:

1825mm, Foc-Foc, La Réunion, Indian Ocean, 18 January 1966 [down from 1870mm]

Most intense:

31.2mm in 1 minute, Unionville, Maryland, USA, 4 January 1956 [down from 38.1mm]

Most days of rain:

325 yearly average, Bahía Felix, Chile

Sea temperature

Highest recorded:

37°C, Persian Gulf


Greatest in one year:

28956mm, Mt Baker Lodge, Washington, winter 1998–9

Greatest single:

4800mm, Mt Shasta Ski Bowl, California, 13–19 February 1959

Greatest daily:

1930mm, Silver Lake, Colorado, 14–15 April 1921

Greatest depth:

11.820m, Mount Ibuki, Japan, 1927

Heaviest continuous:

1730mm in 19 hours, Bessus, Savoie, 5–6 April 1969

Storm surge

Greatest height:

12.2m, Hatia Island, Bangladesh, 12 November 1970

Most deaths:

About 300000 in Bakarganj (now in Bangladesh), November 1970


Greatest annual total:

4300 hours (97% of total possible), eastern Sahara


Lowest recorded:

−89.2°C, Vostok, Antarctica, 21 July 1983

Lowest for a permanently inhabited place:

−68°C, Oymyakon, Siberia, 1933 (unofficial subsequent record −72°C)

Lowest mean annual:

−58°C, Polus Nedostupnosti (Pole of Inaccessibility), Antarctica

Highest mean annual:

34.4°C, Dallol, Ethiopia, 1960–66

Highest recorded:

58°C, Al'Aziziyah, Libya, 13 September 1922

Greatest rise:

27degC (from −20°C to 7°C) in 2 minutes, Spearfish, South Dakota, 23 January 1943

Greatest range recorded:

105degC (from −68°C to 37°C), Verkhoyansk, Siberia

Greatest change in one day:

−56degC (from 7°C to −49°C), Browning, Montana, 23–24 January 1916

Longest heatwave:

162 days over 38°C, Marble Bar, Western Australia, 23 October 1923 to 7 April 1924

Longest period of stable temperatures:

1927–35, Garapan, Saipan Island, Northern Marianas, never above 31.4°C nor below 19.6°C

Thunder and lightning

Highest annual thunderstorm days:

262, Kampala, Uganda

Longest measured lightning channel:

150km—radar measurements in 1956 over Colorado


Highest wind speed:

486kmh−1, Bridge Creek, Oklahoma, 3 May 1999 [down from 512kmh−1]

Longest track:

472km, Illinois–Indiana, 26 May 1917

Most deaths:

c.1300, with 50000 homeless, Shaturia, Bangladesh, 26 April 1989

Greatest outbreak:

148 tornadoes, 3–4 April 1974, covering 13 US states, 315 dead, 5484 injured, with 6 F5 tornadoes

Tropical cyclone


3500km, Hurricane Gilbert, Caribbean, September 1988

Longest duration:

31 days for ‘John’, Pacific Ocean, August–September 1994

Most deaths:

Over 78000, Irrawaddy Delta, Burma (Myanmar), Cyclone Nargis, 3 May 2008. Prior to this, the Great Hurricane of 1780 is reputed to have killed more than 22000 people in Barbados and Martinique.


Highest recorded:

1528m, off Eden, New South Wales, 16 May 1898

Wave, sea


34m, USS Ramapo, mid-Pacific, 6–7 February 1933

Wind speed (excluding tornadoes)

Highest recorded gust:

371kmh−1, Mt Washington, New Hampshire, 20 March 1986

Highest 5-minute speed:

303kmh−1, Mt Washington, New Hampshire, 20 March 1986

Highest recorded jet-stream speed:

656kmh−1, above South Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, 13 December 1967

Windiest place:

Sustained wind speeds of 67kmh−1 throughout year, Commonwealth Bay, George V Coast, Antarctica; record 320kmh−1

From A Dictionary of Weather in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.

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