Hottest/Coldest Places on Earth

Oymyakon, Russia

Oymyakon (Russian: Оймяко́н, pronounced [ɐjmʲɪˈkon]; Yakut: Өймөкөөн, ÖymököönIPA: [øjmøˈkøːn]) is a rural locality (a selo) in Oymyakonsky District of the Sakha Republic, Russia, located along the Indigirka River, 30 kilometers (19 mi) northwest of Tomtor on the Kolyma Highway. It is the coldest permanently inhabited settlement on Earth.

Climate

With an extreme subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfd/Dwd), Oymyakon is known as one of the places considered the Northern Pole of Cold, the other being the town of Verkhoyansk, located 629 km (391 mi) away by air. The ground is permanently frozen (continuous permafrost).

There is a monument built around the town square commemorating a reading in January 1924 of −71.2 °C (−96.2 °F). This was shown on the Australian program 60 Minutes in a 2012 documentary. On 6 February 1933, a temperature of −67.7 °C (−89.9 °F) was recorded at Oymyakon’s weather station. This was the coldest officially recorded temperature in the Northern Hemisphere. Only Antarctica has recorded lower official temperatures (the lowest being −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F), recorded at Vostok Station on 21 July 1983).

The weather station is in a valley between Oymyakon and Tomtor. The station is at 750 m (2,460 ft) above sea level and the surrounding mountains at 1,100 m (3,600 ft), causing cold air to pool in the valley: in fact, recent studies show that winter temperatures in the area increase with altitude by as much as 10 °C (18 °F)

Some years the temperature drops below 0 °C (32 °F) in late September and may remain below freezing until mid-April. In Oymyakon sometimes the average minimum temperature for December, January, and February remains below −50 °C (−58 °F). Sometimes summer months can also be quite cold, but June and July are the only months where the temperature has never dropped below −10 °C (14 °F). Oymyakon and Verkhoyansk are the only two permanently inhabited places in the world that have recorded temperatures below −60.0 °C (−76 °F) for every day in January.

Although winters in Oymyakon are long and extremely cold, summers are mild to warm, sometimes hot. The warmest month on record is July 2010 with an average temperature of +18.7 °C (65.7 °F). In June, July and August temperatures over 30 °C (86 °F) are not rare during the day. On 28 July 2010, Oymyakon recorded a record high temperature of 34.6 °C (94 °F), yielding a temperature range of 105.8 °C (190.4 °F). Verkhoyansk, Yakutsk, Delyankir and Fort Vermilion, Canada are the only other known places in the world that have a temperature amplitude higher than 100 °C (180 °F).

The climate is quite dry, but as average monthly temperatures are below freezing for seven months of the year, substantial evaporation occurs only in summer months. Summers are much wetter than winters.

Dallol, Ethiopia

Dallol (Amharic: ዳሎል) is a locality in the Dallol woreda of northern Ethiopia. Located in Administrative Zone 2 of the Afar Regionin the Afar Depression, it has a latitude and longitude of 14°14′19″N 40°17′38″E with an elevation of about 130 metres (430 ft) below sea level. The Central Statistical Agency has not published an estimate for the 2005 population of the village, which has been described as a ghost town.

Dallol currently holds the official record for record high average temperature for an inhabited location on Earth, and an average annual temperature of 35°C (95°F) was recorded between 1960 and 1966. Dallol is also one of the most remote places on Earth, but paved roads to the nearby village of Hamedela are being built. Still, the most important mode of transport besides jeeps are the camel caravans that travel to the area to collect salt.

In the region is the highly-active hydrothermal system of Dallol, with numerous springs, terrace systems and fumaroles.

Climate

Dallol features an extreme version of a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) typical of the Danakil Desert. Dallol is the hottest place year-round on the planet and currently holds the record high average temperature for an inhabited location on Earth, where an average annual temperature of 34.6 °C (94.3 °F) was recorded between the years 1960 and 1966. The annual average high temperature is 41 °C (105 °F) and the hottest month has an average high of 46.7 °C (116.1 °F). In addition to being extremely hot year-round, the climate of the lowlands of the Danakil Depression is also extremely dry and hyperarid in terms of annual average rainy days as only a few days record measurable precipitation. The hot desert climate of Dallol is particularly hot due to the extremely low elevation, it being inside the tropics and near the hot Red Sea during winters, the very low seasonality impact, the constants of the extreme heat and the lack of nighttime cooling.