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The coldest and hottest cities in the world

Different parts of Planet Earth have vastly different climates. Human beings have succeeded in settling in the most inhospitable places on earth. Today we are going to learn about the coldest and hottest cities on the planet.

Spain is in a temperate zone of the planet. Although there are some differences between areas, extreme weather situations are rare and the weather is mild throughout much of the year.

However, there are also areas with enormous contrasts, either because they are close to the poles, in tropical areas or because they are in the interior of large continents. Despite this, people still live in these inhospitable areas, in most cases for economic reasons, creating the hottest and coldest cities in the world, where protection from extreme temperatures is essential.

The world’s hottest cities

1. Jizan (Saudi Arabia)

This city is in Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen. With more than 100,000 inhabitants, the average temperature is above 40ºC almost all year round. Humidity is also high because it stands on the shores of the Red Sea.

Despite the barren landscape, which is full of wadis - dry riverbeds that do not flow into the sea - and only occasionally have any water in them, after some rare rainfall. Therefore heat and desalinated sea water are used to produce a significant quantity of fruit and vegetable produce in greenhouses.

2. Bangkok (Thailand)

In this case, this is not desert heat, but tropical heat with temperatures above 35ºC for much of the year.

That might not sound very hot, but it is, and here are the reasons why. The first is the typical humidity - almost 100% on many days of the year - of a tropical monsoon climate. During the monsoon season it rains non-stop for more than 20 days a month.

The second is that temperatures barely drop at night and, the third, the effect of man. In a city with more than 5 million inhabitants and extremely heavy traffic, the effect is suffocating. Anyone who lives or visits this city should wear cool clothing to be able to stand the extreme heat.

3. Las Vegas (United States)

This city of entertainment par excellence is also one of the hottest places on earth, especially in summertime. From May to September temperatures exceed 40ºC, the hottest month being July, where the temperature is often above 47ºC.

In this case humidity is not the problem, rather the foehn effect that occurs in the Rocky Mountains. Rain fronts from the Pacific collide with the western side of the mountains releasing the rains there and, on the eastern side, where Las Vegas lies, hot, dry air descends to create the desert that surrounds this American city. 

 

4. Karachi (Pakistan)

The biggest city in Pakistan, with about 15 million inhabitants, is also one of the hottest in the world. Being by the sea exacerbates the effect. Temperatures are over 40 degrees between March to October making summer endless for the inhabitants of this gigantic metropolis.

June is the hottest month, reaching 50ºC on occasion, but the most unpleasant for travellers are July and August. Not only is it above 40ºC much of the time, but the effect of the monsoon which brings almost an entire year's rainfall during these months make it even more suffocating. 

5. Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

The capital of Malaysia is a perfect example of a tropical climate. The average temperature barely varies by one degree between the coldest month (December) and the warmest month (May). This combines with a humidity of over 90% due to its proximity to the sea and abundant rains that fall an average of 14 days even in the driest month (June).

Although it is a smaller city than nearby Bangkok, with fewer than two million inhabitants, particles from the many fires on the nearby island of Sumatra and the heat from vehicles add to the steamy feeling.

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The coldest cities in the world

Although less populated than warm areas, the proximity to the Arctic Circle of many of its regions and its location in the middle of the huge Asian continent.

 

6. Yakutsk (Russia)

Just 450 kilometres from the Arctic Circle, in an area with a large quantity of diamond mines, the inhabitants of this Russian city survive some of the coldest winters on Earth.

The capital of the Saja region, next to the Lena River, has average temperatures below -10ºC for six months of the year (in autumn and winter). With lows reaching -60ºC between December and January, it is extremely difficult to get about.  

7.  Yellowknife (Canada)

This is the most populous Canadian city in the Northern Territories, even so, there are only 23,000 inhabitants. They put up with a very extreme winter climate with average temperatures below -10ºC between November and March which plummets to a minimum of -50ºC in January and February in many years.

Like Yakutsk, the town, on the shore of Slave Lake was founded because of mining opportunities (gold and diamonds). More than half of the population is Native American.

8. Astana (Kazakhstan)

The capital of Kazakhstan is nowhere near the Arctic Circle but has an extreme continental climate due to its geographical location in the centre of Asia, with no influence from the sea or ocean fronts to temper the climate.

Sometimes, June and July see maximum temperatures of more than 40ºC, while during the winter it gets terribly cold, with minimum temperatures below -50ºC.

9. Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)

The capital of Mongolia, on the banks of the Tuul River, is another of the coldest cities in the world. They even get frost in July and August, sometimes! Minimum temperatures are also close to -50ºC during the depths of winter, and the average maximum, from November to March, is not usually above 0ºC.

10. Ottawa (Canada)

The capital of Canada has registered the second lowest minimum temperature of all the capitals of the world, behind Ulaanbaatar, although the average temperature is also slightly higher than Astana.

Temperatures of -30ºC are normal in winter and a massive drawback for visitors, but not for Canadians who know how to deal with the cold and the more than 235 centimetres of snow that fall on average every winter and hang around until the month of April. 

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