Verkhoyansk's previous record-high temperature was 99.1 degrees Fahrenheit in 1988.

By Cailey Rizzo
June 23, 2020
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The Arctic Circle may have reported its highest temperature on record over the weekend.

During a heatwave and a prolonged period of wildfires in eastern Siberia, the remote town of Verkhoyansk reported a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit on June 20. If confirmed, it would be the highest-ever recorded temperature in the Arctic Circle, according to The Associated Press.

A team from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) will investigate the temperature report and verify its record-worthiness. The organization has not previously kept a running record of the “highest temperature recorded north of the Arctic Circle” but is considering creating a new category to monitor these observations.

If the reading is correct, it would defeat the town’s previous all-time record of 99.1 degrees Fahrenheit, set on July 25, 1988, according to Weather.com. The average highs for June in Verkhoyansk, which lies just north of the ring of the Arctic circle, typically linger around the upper 60s.

Verkhoyansk is home to about 1,300 people, The BBC reported.

An aerial view of a flooded area in central Siberia.
Emercom/Getty

Typically this time of year Siberia sees temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius, however, the region has been experiencing a heatwave since June 12. Overall in 2020, Russia has reported a much warmer year than normal. And smoke from a string of wildfires in Siberia has not helped temperatures cool down.

In addition to high temperatures, Arctic sea ice coverage off the coast of Siberia is currently at a 41-year record low for this time of year.

"Year-on-year temperature records are being broken around the world, but the Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth," Dr. Dann Mitchell, associate professor in atmospheric science at the University of Bristol, told The BBC. "So it is unsurprising to see records being broken in this region. We will see more of this in the near future."