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South Pole Records Warmest Temperature on Record

Amundsen-Scott Station

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station during the long Antarctic night, with a new station at far left, power plant in the center and the Aurora Australis dancing through the sky.NSF/Chris Danals

The South Pole recorded its highest temperature on record on Christmas Day, when temperatures reached 9.9F (-12.3C), according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC).

While calling the new record "warm" may be going a step too far, it is positively balmy compared to June 23, 1982, when the temperature at the South Pole site reached a record low of -117F (-82.8C).

In a brief statement, the SSEC said "the prior record high temperature at South Pole was recorded on 27 December, 1978," when the mercury hit a high of 7.5F (-13.6C).

The average temperature in December at the South Pole is -15.7F (-26.5C), the Weather Underground website reported.

Records have been kept at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole site since 1957.