10 extreme weather records

10 extreme weather records

Death Valley was recently declared the hottest place on Earth -- it joins a host of other extreme weather locations
Death Valley
Death Valley at its prime -- hot enough to grill a medium steak.

With an average high of 46.7 C in July, summer in Death Valley, California, can be baking. 

But it was the summer of 1913 that recently entered the record books, acknowledged officially as the hottest temperature ever recorded, at 56.7 C.

"Everybody is interested in extremes -- the hottest, the wettest, the windiest -- so creating a database of professionally-verified records is useful in that fact alone," says Randall Cerveny from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

"But it also serves to demonstrate that we have greatly increased the quality of our records through this verification process. Our findings with regard to topics such as climate change will have more validity," he adds.

With that in mind, what other extreme weather records are there? Cerveny helped us pick out a few highlights from around the world.

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Lowest temperature

According to WMO, the lowest temperature noted was -89.2 C, recorded on July 21, 1983 in Vostok, Antarctica. Yes, Celsius, not Fahrenheit.

An absence of solar radiation, clear skies, little vertical mixing, calm air for a long duration and high elevation (3,420 meters) accounted for the frigid weather.

extreme weather recordsSwimming goggles recommended.

Greatest rainfall in one minute, Unionville

This record is owned by Unionville, Maryland, United States, when on July 4, 1956, 31.2 millimeters of rain fell in one minute.

To give you an idea -- in sub-tropical Hong Kong, the most severe black rainstorm signal will be hoisted if the rainfall exceeds 70 millimeters in an hour.

Greatest rainfall in 24 hours

The biggest rainfall in a day occurred with the passage of Cyclone Denise in Foc-Foc, La Réunion, an island in the southern Indian Ocean. Some 1.825 meters of rain fell over 24 hours, from January 7 to 8, 1966.

Heaviest hailstone, Bangladesh

The heaviest hailstone was discovered during a hailstorm in Gopalganj, Bangladesh on April 14, 1986. The storm killed 92 people and included one hailstone that weighed 1.02 kilos.

Longest recorded dry period, Arica

The longest dry period in history was measured in years. There was not a single raindrop in Arica, Chile for more than 14 years, from October, 1903 to January 1918 -- a total of 173 months.

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More extreme weather records provided by Guinness World Records

Geyser recordsThe 'Old Faithful' geyser, with an average eruption height of 44 meters, is 20 meters short of Geysir Andernach.

Highest cold water geyser

Located in Andernach, Germany, Geysir Andernach usually blows water from 30 to 60 meters high. The highest ejection reached 61.5 meters, recorded on September 19, 2002.

Cold-water geysers are different from naturally occurring hot-water geysers. The cold underground water erupts from a drilled well. The Andernach well is more than 350 meters deep.

Coldest road

The Kolyma Highway (M56) in Russia is the coldest road on earth -- temperatures once plunged to -67.7 degrees Celsius.

A section of the 2,031-kilometer highway is called the "Road of Bones" to commemorate the prisoners from the Sewostlag Labour Camp who died constructing the road and were buried beneath it.

Largest non-polar ice field

You don't need to live in the polar regions to be stuck in the middle of a vast ice field.

The largest ice field outside the Poles is Yukon Territory in Canada, inside the 21,980-square-kilometer Kluane National Park and Reserve.

AntarcticaAntarctica: desert with ample water, but in a different form.

Largest desert 

No, not the Sahara. 

A desert is defined as an area that has no or very little rainfall. The largest desert in the world is Antarctica, which is 14 million kilometers squared and with only 50 millimeters of precipitation per year.

The 9.1-million-kilometer-square Sahara, according to Guinness World Records, is only the biggest hot desert.

Inhabited place with the lowest temperature 

The coldest permanently inhabited place is the Siberian village of Oymyakon, Russia.

The temperature once dropped to -68 C in 1933 -- the coldest temperature record outside Antarctica.

The latest edition of Guinness World Records 2013 was released on September 13, 2012. Check out more on Guinness World Records' website: www.guinnessworldrecords.com

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Hiufu Wong is CNN Travel's staff writer.

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