World marks hottest June since 1880 as temperatures soar in China
After warmest June on record, there's no relief in sight, with parts of China also roasting
Last month was the world's hottest June since records began in 1880, US government scientists said, as authorities warned that temperatures in southern China could top 40 degrees Celsius today.
Hong Kong followed the global trend, also sweltering through its hottest June since records began in 1884. The Hong Kong Observatory said the monthly mean temperature was 29 degrees - 1.1 degrees hotter than the average.
The temperature in the city hit 32 degrees in the mid-afternoon yesterday due to a continental airstream over Guangdong province. A thunderstorm then helped cool the city down.
The Hong Kong Observatory recorded 6,207 lightning strikes over the city between 2pm and 5pm, with 4,574 of them cloud-to-ground.
The storm came a day before the "Great Heat", one of the 24 solar terms of the traditional calendar. Great Heat usually falls between July 22 and 24.
On the mainland yesterday, the weather observatory in Xian in Shaanxi province issued a red alert for heat, with the temperature rising to 39 degrees Celsius.
Similarly hot weather was recorded in Zhengzhou in Henan (38 degrees), Chongqing (39 degrees), Wuhan in Hubei (37 degrees), and Hangzhou in Zhejiang (37 degrees).
The hot weather came as the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said globally, the combined average temperature for land and ocean surfaces was a record high for June at 16.22 degrees.
Last month was 0.72 degrees warmer than the 20th century average for June, surpassing the previous high set in 2010, the agency said.
The ocean's global surface temperature was also the highest for any month, breaking the previous record set in 1998, it added.
"Most of the world experienced warmer-than-average monthly temperatures, with record warmth across part of southeastern Greenland, parts of northern South America, areas in eastern and central Africa and sections of southern and southeastern Asia," it said.
The findings are part of the continuing trend of rising global temperatures.