Heat waves swung through Phoenix the week and pushed temperatures as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit. In New Delhi, India, the temperature rose close to 120 but was pushed down fairly quickly by strong winds. In one city in India, the hot temperature has not abated, and the threat to human life rises by the day.
Phalodi is southwest of New Delphi nearly halfway to the ocean across from Oman. It holds the record for the hottest day in India’s history–124 degrees on May 19, 2016. Much of this heat is due to the fact that the city is near the Thar Desert which is routinely hot and arrid.
It is 119 in Phalodi today. Unlike the heat in much of India, the temperature in the city is not expected to drop much. It is forecast to be close to 110 degrees for at least the next 10 days. In the U.S., the hottest average summer temperature across even the warmest states rarely rises above 80 degrees.
Phalodi has a population of about 50,000. However, the Jodhpur District around it is inhabited by 3.5 million people. Government officials promote the area’s history and spots which are of interest to tourists. The temperature is not mentioned at all by the overview of the area, its culture, and its entrepreneurship and its businesses.
What happens to people when the temperature hovers around 120 degrees, or even slightly lower? With a normal human core temperature of 89 degrees, exposure to extremely hot temperatures begins to trigger a widening of the blood vessels to spread cooler blood around the body. This, in turn, drops flow to the brain. Dizziness can be followed by a stroke. Once the body’s temperature rises above 104 degrees, severe heat stroke sets in the body no longer can cool itself at all, and the cascading of events can lead to death.
Weather.com points out that many consecutive days of high temperatures can trigger a large number of deaths. Extreme temperatures caused nearly 70,00 deaths across parts of Europe in August 2003.
Based on weather forecasts, there is no chance the daytime weather in Phalodi will drop much in the next few days. That means its temperature will stay above the average of all of the hottest inhabited places on earth.