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  • Author or Editor: Fatima Driouech x
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Khalid I. El Fadli, Randall S. Cerveny, Christopher C. Burt, Philip Eden, David Parker, Manola Brunet, Thomas C. Peterson, Gianpaolo Mordacchini, Vinicio Pelino, Pierre Bessemoulin, José Luis Stella, Fatima Driouech, M. M Abdel Wahab, and Matthew B. Pace

On 13 September 1922, a temperature of 58°C (136.4°F) was purportedly recorded at El Azizia (approximately 40 km 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 2010–11, 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 ( This committee identified five major concerns with the 1922 El Azizia temperature extreme record, specifically 1) potentially problematical instrumentation, 2) a probable new and inexperienced observer at the time of observation, 3) unrepresentative microclimate of the observation site, 4) poor correspondence of the extreme to other locations, and 5) poor comparison to subsequent temperature values recorded at the site. Based on these concerns, the WMO World Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes 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), California.

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Timothy J. Lang, Stéphane Pédeboy, William Rison, Randall S. Cerveny, Joan Montanyà, Serge Chauzy, Donald R. MacGorman, Ronald L. Holle, Eldo E. Ávila, Yijun Zhang, Gregory Carbin, Edward R. Mansell, Yuriy Kuleshov, Thomas C. Peterson, Manola Brunet, Fatima Driouech, and Daniel S. Krahenbuhl


A World Meteorological Organization weather and climate extremes committee has judged that the world’s longest reported distance for a single lightning flash occurred with a horizontal distance of 321 km (199.5 mi) over Oklahoma in 2007, while the world’s longest reported duration for a single lightning flash is an event that lasted continuously for 7.74 s over southern France in 2012. In addition, the committee has unanimously recommended amendment of the AMS Glossary of Meteorology definition of lightning discharge as a “series of electrical processes taking place within 1 s” by removing the phrase “within 1 s” and replacing it with “continuously.” Validation of these new world extremes 1) demonstrates the recent and ongoing dramatic augmentations and improvements to regional lightning detection and measurement networks, 2) provides reinforcement regarding the dangers of lightning, and 3) provides new information for lightning engineering concerns.

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