Iran is enduring a “heat index” of nearly 72C while Iraq has called a public holiday due to the sweltering temperatures
Iran is buckling under the pressure of a massive heatwave passing across the Middle East, with temperatures soaring to nearly 70C.
Scorching heat levels of 50C have already paralysed nearby Iraq, where officials were forced to call a four day public holiday because it was too hot to work.
But the word “hot” has taken on an entirely new meaning in Iran’s city of Bandar Mahshahr, where it was claimed that the city’s heat index, or “feels-like temperature”, was among the highest ever recorded.
The heat index was recorded by a group of astonished weather experts who predict the country could be enduring some of the hottest urban temperatures ever endured by mankind.
It is just a few degrees lower than the highest ever recorded heat index, which was 178F (81C) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on July 8, 2003.
In neigbouring countries such as Iraq the government has urged residents to drink plenty of water and stay out of the sun amid fears they could be struck down by what experts refer to as a “heat dome” rampaging across the Middle East.
The dome – a type of high pressure ridge that is passing over the region – has exacerbated electricity and water supply issues and makes the scorching heat even more unbearable.
In the south residents have cranked up the air conditioning as high as it will go, while the more lucky among them have escaped to nearby beaches in a desperate bid to cool off.
But some of the most affluent figures in the Middle East are blissfully unaware of the scorching heat, such as Saudia Arabia’s King Salman.
He is enjoying a holiday in his luxury vila in France, where a stretch of public beach was closed off to make way for his royal visit – much to the ire of local bathers.
Press link for more: James Rothwell | telegraph.co.uk