Warmer and wetter than average summer for UK, says Met Office

Wet, windy conditions followed record-breaking temperatures in June with northern regions seeing more sunshine than usual.

Danny Halpin
Friday 01 September 2023 15:50 BST
The last day of the meteorological summer ended with rain for many people across the UK (Andrew Matthews/PA)
The last day of the meteorological summer ended with rain for many people across the UK (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)

The UK has been warmer and wetter than average this summer, with a hot June making this season the eighth warmest on record, according to Met Office provisional figures.

After the hottest June recorded since 1884, July was the sixth wettest, and rainfall in August was just below the long-term mean average.

Of the top 10 warmest summers on record, 2023 has been the wettest, with Northern Ireland having its wettest July on record.

Met Office senior scientist Mike Kendon said: “The lion’s share of fine and settled weather in summer 2023 for the UK occurred in June, when high pressure was widely established bringing many dry days of warm summer sunshine.

“After that, however, the jet stream shifted much further to the south, with low-pressure systems often bringing rather wet and windy conditions to the UK through much of July and August.”

The highest temperature recorded was 32.2C at Chertsey, Surrey, on June 10 and Coningsby, Lincolnshire, on June 25, far off the 40.3C seen in Coningsby last year.

Across the UK, the average mean temperature this summer was 15.4C, which is 0.8C above the average.

Minimum average temperatures were also high – 11C – which is the fourth highest on record.

Wales and Northern Ireland saw their highest average minimum temperatures for the summer while Scotland had its fifth highest and England its seventh.

Northern Ireland also saw 27% more rain than average, though not enough to trouble any records, the Met Office said.

There was less sun for most people during August, with the UK seeing 8% fewer sunshine hours than normal, and this was most pronounced in Wales which saw 21% fewer sunshine hours.

For the summer as a whole, the UK had slightly above the average number of sunshine hours, with Scotland being furthest from the norm with a 15% increase.

The characteristic variability of the UK’s climate has once again been illustrated by this summer

Mike Kendon, Met Office

Two storms in the summer’s final month, Antoni on August 5 and Betty on August 19, helped contribute to the mixed feel of dry and wet weather throughout the season.

Mr Kendon said: “The characteristic variability of the UK’s climate has once again been illustrated by this summer: the season’s temperature figures are influenced by how significantly hot June was, but the result is that summer 2023 will go down as a warm and wet one for the UK, with plenty of rainfall in the second half of the season.”

Meteorologists predict temperatures will rise to the high 20s next week as a tropical hurricane in the Atlantic pushes high pressure towards the UK.

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