The low temperature forecast for Sunday, June 5, in the Lower 48 states was around 48 degrees Fahrenheit (F). The lowest temperature recorded so far Sunday is −106.24°F at the Pole of Inaccessibility in Antarctica.
The official world record cold temperature is −128.6°F set at another Antarctic station in July 1983. The average winter temperature at the South Pole is around −56°F.
It’s not a particular surprise that it’s cold at this time of year at the South Pole. But just over a year ago, on March 24, 2015, an Argentine weather station on Antarctica registered a high temperature of 63.5°F, the highest ever recorded. Prior to that, the highest temperature recorded on the seventh continent was 62.8°F in 1961.
An article published last year at ThinkProgress noted the rapid warming at both the North and South Poles:
[T]he poles are warming faster than any part of the planet and rapid ice melt is being observed at increased rates in Antarctica. According to a new study, ice shelves in West Antarctica have lost as much as 18 percent of their volume over the last two decades, with rapid acceleration occurring over the last decade. The study found that from 1994 to 2003, the overall loss of ice shelf volume across the continent was negligible, but over the last decade West Antarctic losses increased by 70 percent.
According to the British Antarctic Survey, since records for the Antarctic Peninsula began half a century ago, the average temperature has risen about 5°F, making it “the most rapidly warming region in the Southern Hemisphere – comparable to rapidly warming regions of the Arctic.”
At the same time that Antarctica is headed for the deep-freeze of winter, temperatures have soared to around 118°F in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. Sunday’s highest recorded temperature is nearly 120°F at Baharia, Egypt, and the temperature at Ejido Nuevo Leon in Mexico rose to just over 119°F.
The official world record high temperature stands at 134°F, set in 1913 in Death Valley, Calif.