Provisional WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 2016

The Yangtze basin in China had its most significant summer floods since 1999, killing 310 people and causing an estimated US$14 billion in damage. Flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka in mid-May left more than 200 people dead or missing, and displaced several hundred thousand. Above-normal seasonal rainfall in the Sahel led to significant flooding in the Niger River basin, with the river reaching its highest levels in about 50 years in Mali.

There were a number of major heatwaves during 2016. The year started with an extreme heatwave in southern Africa, exacerbated by the ongoing drought. Many stations set all-time records, including 42.7°C at Pretoria and 38.9°C at Johannesburg on 7 January. Thailand saw a national record of 44.6°C on 28 April. Phalodi saw a new record for India of 51.0°C on 19 May. Record or near-record temperatures occurred in parts of the Middle East and north Africa on a number of occasions in summer. Mitribah (Kuwait) recorded 54.0°C on July 21 which, subject to ratification through standard WMO procedures, will be the highest temperature on record for Asia. The following day, 53.9°C was recorded at Basra (Iraq) and 53.0°C at Delhoran (Iran).