The cool summer could not stop this year being the second warmest on record, the Met Office said yesterday.
Provisional figures show that only 2006, with an average temperature of 9.73C (49.5F) was warmer than 2011, which averaged 9.62C. An unusually warm autumn and spring meant that, apart from January – which endured the knock-on from the cold December of 2010 – only June, July and August had below-average temperatures. All bar one of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1997 and all the UK's seven warmest years happened in the past decade.
2011 saw the warmest April and spring on record, the second warmest autumn and the warmest October day. It was one of the driest-ever years in England, yet it was the dampest ever in Scotland.
But early figures suggest 2011 is ending with a "close to average" December.
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