There are numerous reports in the literature of observations of land surface temperatures. Some of these, almost all made in situ, reveal maximum values in the 50°-70°C range, with a few, made in desert regions, near 80°C. Consideration of a simplified form of the surface energy balance equation, utilizing likely upper values of absorbed shortwave flux (1000 W m2) and screen air temperature (55°C), that surface temperatures in the vicinity of 90°-100°C may occur for dry, darkish soils of low thermal conductivity (0.1-0.2 W m1 K1). Numerical simulations confirm this and suggest that temperature gradients in the first few centimeters of soil may reach 0.5°-1°C mm1 under these extreme conditions. The study bears upon the intrinsic interest of identifying extreme maximum temperatures and yields interesting information regarding the comfort zone of animals (including man).