SOURCE: The Guardian

DATE: Aug 11, 2017

SNIP: While Europe battles with a heatwave named Lucifer, the Middle East is enduring a summer so brutal that even those accustomed to Baghdad’s searing August weather are labelling it “ungodly”.

As temperatures rose towards 51C (124F) on Thursday, Iraq’s government declared a mandatory holiday, allowing civil servants to shelter at home.

So far this month in the Iraqi capital, every day but one has reached 48C or higher, and the forecast is for the high temperatures to continue for the next week.

In Kuwait, where birds have reportedly dropped from the skies, and Riyadh, where building work has ceased this week, locals have called for mercy from a hotter-than-normal air mass that has remained nearly stationary over central Arabia for more than three weeks, stretching the capacity of electricity networks beyond limits.