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Rob's 5 On It: Places even hotter than Phoenix

A sign at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center at Death Valley National Park in California. (AP Photo)

Thursday saw another record high temperature in Phoenix. Sky Harbor Airport checked in at 116 degrees. But we're tough.

We live in the Valley. We can handle the heat. We wear it like a badge of honor. We tell our out-of-state relatives and friends all the time that it's not that bad, it really is a dry heat.

Except when it's 116. Dry heat or not, it's stinking hot.

Believe it or not, Phoenix isn't the hottest place on the planet. Here's a look at five places that blaze hotter than even the Valley of the Sun.

1. Dallol, Ethiopia

No doubt this location is on the top of everyone's travel list. It's a former mining town in Northern Ethiopia. Here's how one writer described her trip to Dallol:

Sounds like Dallol beats those San Diego beaches every time. Yeah, right.

Anyways, Dallol is now a ghost town, so not many people feel the average daily temperatures of 94 degrees. That's year round, including nightly temps. Dallol never really cools off. At least in the Valley we enjoy nine months of nice weather per year.

Dollol seems to enjoy zip. The average high temp in December and January tops out at 97. Oh, the humidity levels average about 60 percent. There are also volcanoes and earthquakes in the area.

When are you planning your trip?

2. Death Valley, California

Located in the Mojave Desert, the famous Death Valley has the distinction of being the hottest place in North America.

Average highs in July check in at 116, a full 10 degrees hotter than the average temp in Phoenix during that month. This doesn't sound like a fun place to be in the summer. An actor from the Harry Potter movies died after hiking through Death Valley.

Death Valley is also the site of highest air temperature ever recorded on the planet, 134 degrees. That makes Phoenix's record of 122 seem like a nice spring day!

3. Timbuktu, Mali

Timbuktu's average temperatures are closely aligned with Phoenix's. The hottest month in this west African nation is May, when average high temperatures are 108 degrees.

The good news is there is plenty of sunshine in Timbuktu. The city made famous for its gold sees an average of only 14 days of rainfall per year.

Ah, feels like home.

Here's why it's hotter than Phoenix. The "coolest" months are December and January. Average highs in this city near the Saharan Desert are about 86 degrees, almost 20 degrees warmer than Phoenix during those months. Timbuktu also beats Phoenix's record high. Its highest recorded temp is 130.

4. Kebili, Tunisia

This north African town has been around for a while, 200,000 years. It's actually a pleasant place to live. Kebili is home to about 19,000 people. Average high temperatures during the summer months top out around 100. Not too bad. For us that's a walk in the park.

Ironically, this is a vacation spot in north Africa. People travel to Kebili to escape the heat. The city is also blessed with an abundance of water.

But every once in a while Kebili gets hit with a heat wave. Nasty ones. The highest recorded temperature there was 131 degrees on July 7, 1931. That's also a record high for Africa.

5. San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico

Finally, a place that is also hot like Phoenix. Or Yuma. That's actually where San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora is. Right across the U.S./Mexico border from Yuma.

This city of 160,000 experiences its hottest month in July, when the average high is 108. But the record high was set in June of 1966. That day the mercury topped out at 125.6 degrees.

So while it may be hot where we live. It could always be worse, right?

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About the Author


Rob spent his formative years growing up in Massachusetts, but after graduating from Emerson College in Boston, he's had the privilege of living in Florida, New Orleans and New Mexico. Rob & his wife Amy have lived in Phoenix since 2006 when he joined KTAR. Rob is passionate about our freedom and rights -- something he learned to love while growing up in the Boston area.

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