Hottest Countries in February
February is one of the coolest months of the year on planet earth. No major weather station reports temperatures for the month of February that average above 40 degrees Celsius. Later in the year, 40-degree Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) heat becomes common. But at the world's warmest places in February, temperatures reach just 36 °C (96.8 °F) on most days.
The hottest countries are not concentrated in any one area, but are scattered around the globe, close to the equator. Highs averaging above 35 °C (95 °F) occur in Australia, Africa, Central and South America, and Asia.
The world's hottest country in February is clearly Australia. As the continent nears the end of its summer, this is the only place where temperatures average above 37 °C (98.6°F).
The country's hottest region centers on the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia. Exceptionally hot February weather covers a vast area including the desert and surrounding hills stretching from Newman to Fitzroy Crossing and taking in Balgo Hills, Carnegie and Rabbit Flat in the Northern Territory.
Among weather stations scattered throughout the region, the hottest is at a remote mining town in the Great Sandy Desert. The town of Telfer, in Paterson Province, lies west of Rudall River National Park and about 450 kilometres (280 miles) east of Port Hedland on the coast.
Tefler has the world's hottest days in February with average highs of 38.7 °C (101.7 °F), and also the warmest nights, with lows averaging 25.5 °C (77.9 °F). The highest temperature recorded at Telfer for the month is 47.1 °C (116.8 °F) on Feb 13, 2007.
Another expanse of hot weather in February spans Africa, just south of the Sahara Desert. Countries from Kenya in the east to Senegal in the west have hot spots with average maximum temperatures of about 36 °C. While their days are similarly hot, nighttime lows vary among locations, from around 18 to 24 degrees C (64 - 75 °F).
The most extensive hot area across Africa is in southern Mali. Several centres there report 36-degree highs for February, including the capital city, Bamako as well as Segou, Sikasso and Kidal.
The hot zone reaches a short ways beyond Mali's western border to Matam in Senegal. On the other side of Mali, the heat extends into eastern Niger's hot spot, the town of Tillabery. High February temperatures also show up in neighbouring Chad, at Abeche. Farther east, in northern Kenya, the town of Lodwar has a hot climate this time of year.
Central and South America
Central and South America also have a hot region that takes in several countries. Panama, eastern Columbia and lowland portions of Venezuela all have multiple weather stations that average above 35 °C in February. These include two inland cities of western Panama, David and Santiago.
Maracaibo and Maracay near the coast of northern Venezuela, and to the west, Valledupar in Columbia, have unusually hot February weather. Another hot spot in eastern Columbia is along the Orinoco River, at Puerto Carreño on the Venezuelan border. The heat follows the Orinoco downstream into Venezuela, to the hottest place in the region, Ciudad Bolivar.
February temperatures in the mid-30s occur less commonly in Asia than in Africa and South America. The exception is in Thailand, at Kanchanaburi, located not far inland from Bangkok on the River Kwai.
The climate records are from the World Meteorological Organization which has collected weather data from over 160 countries. Some hot countries were not considered for these rankings because their data are unavailable.
Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Climate Data Online.
World Meteorological Organization. World Weather Information Service.