Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 2012 ; e-View
World Meteorological Organization Assessment of the Purported World Record 58ºC Temperature Extreme at El Azizia, Libya (13 September 1922)
Khalid Ibrahim El Fadli1, Randall S. Cerveny2, Christopher C. Burt3, Philip Eden4, David Parker5, ManolaBrunet6,13, Thomas C. Peterson7, Gianpaolo Mordacchini8, Vinicio Pelino8, Pierre Bessemoulin9, José LuisStella10, Fatima Driouech11, M.M Abdel wahab12, Matthew B. Pace2
On 13 September 1922, a temperature of 58°C (136.4°F) was purportedly recorded at El Azizia (approximately 40 kilometers south-southwest of Tripoli) in what is now modern-day Libya. That temperature record of 58°C has been cited by numerous world record sources as the highest recorded temperature for the planet. During 2010–2011, a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Commission of Climatology (CCl) special international panel of meteorological experts conducted an in-depth investigation of this record temperature for the WMO World Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes (Cerveny et al., 2007a; Cerveny et al., 2007; Quetelard et al. 2009) (http://wmo.asu.edu/). This committee identified five major concerns with the 1922 El Azizia temperature extreme record, specifically (a) potentially problematical instrumentation, (b) a probable new and inexperienced observer at time of observation, (c) unrepresentative microclimate of the observation site, (d) poor correspondence of the extreme to other locations and (e) poor comparison to subsequent temperature values recorded at the site. Based on these concerns, the WMO World Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes has rejected this temperature extreme of 58°C as the highest temperature officially recorded on the planet. The WMO assessment is that the highest recorded surface temperature of 56.7°C (134°F) was measured on 10 July 1913 at Greenland Ranch (Death Valley) CA USA.