97 temperature records broken in Vietnam this summer

By Gia Chinh   July 27, 2023 | 05:34 am PT
97 temperature records broken in Vietnam this summer
People in traffic during a period of high heat in Hanoi, June 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
There have been 97 record-breaking high temperatures seen this summer across Vietnam, with the highest one 44.2 degrees Celsius in the central province of Nghe An.

Summer for northern and central Vietnam regions began with a three-day heat wave from March 22 to March 24, with 18 records being broken during the period. The average temperatures in northern and central Vietnam were 0.5-1 degree higher than the average temperatures in the previous years.

The highest temperature recorded in March was 41.4 degrees, recorded in Hoa Binh on March 22, breaking the previous record seen in 1996 by 3.3 degrees. The same day, Cao Bang recorded temperatures at 36.7 degrees, surpassing a previous record seen around 60 years prior.

In April, there were four widespread heat waves that lasted eight days in certain areas in northern and central Vietnam. The average temperatures were around 1-1.5 degrees higher than in previous years, and there were 12 record-high temperatures seen within the month.

The hottest areas were in Dien Bien, Son La and Lai Chau, with most record-breaking temperatures seen on April 18 and 19. The highest temperature recorded was 42.8 degrees, surpassing the previous record established four years ago by nearly 1 degree.

May was regarded by meteorological agencies as the hottest throughout the summer, with five heat waves spread over large areas. Northern and central Vietnam regions saw 16 days where temperatures reached above 35 degrees, mostly around 38-40 degrees.

44 temperature records were broken within the month, with 22 being recorded in northern Vietnam, mainly in Son La, Hoa Binh, Cao Bang, Hanoi and Ninh Binh. On May 6, a temperature at 43.4 degrees was recorded in Hoa Binh, surpassing the previous record in 1996 by 1.4 degrees.

On May 17, a weather station in Hanoi recorded a temperature at 41.3 degrees, surpassing the previous record established three years ago by around 0.5 degrees.

Other record-breaking temperatures were also seen in central Vietnam regions from Thanh Hoa to Quang Tri. The highest temperature to ever be recorded in Vietnam, 44.2 degrees, was observed in Nghe An, surpassing a record four years ago in Ha Tinh at 43.4 degrees.

In June, temperatures began to drop, and heat waves were interrupted by five periods of rain. The longest heat wave in northern Vietnam lasted five days, and the longest one from Nghe An to Phu Yen lasted 13 days.

21 records were broken in June, all in northern Vietnam. Seven of them were in Son La, with June 1 seeing a temperature at 43.8 degrees, surpassing the previous record two years ago by 3 degrees. Sa Pa in Lao Cai, a high-altitude location that often sees low temperatures, recorded a temperature at 29.4 degrees, surpassing the previous record established 45 years ago by 1.5 degrees.

Even though July has yet to end, northern and central Vietnam have seen around 20 days of high heat. Average temperatures in the regions were 1-1.5 degrees higher than in previous years.

Pham Thi Thanh Nga, head of the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change, said the record-breaking temperatures this summer were due to global warming, not El Nino.

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