Warm June heralds start of summer, despite recent unsettled weather

Summer has kicked off with a predominantly warm and sunny June compared to the long-term averages, according to provisional statistics from the Met Office.  

Although conditions have been more unsettled for some in recent weeks, the UK has had above average temperatures for the month, including particularly warm nighttime temperatures with England reporting its joint second highest average minimum temperature in June since records began in 1884, with 10.7°C.  

Map showing generally above average minimum temperatures across the UK

Although the high minimum temperatures are the most noteworthy, average maximum temperatures and mean temperatures were also more than one degree warmer than the long-term average for the UK, and each country in the UK is above the average for their temperature figures for the month. The warm conditions are in contrast to 2021’s Spring, when cooler than average temperatures were reported as May concluded with showery and cold conditions.  

The UK started to become more unsettled, and often stormy, from the middle of June. Southern areas, and particularly the southeast, have seen the heaviest rain, with London having double the amount of rain it would normally expect (97.1mm) and some locations in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight being the wettest in the whole country with over three times their average June rainfall.  

Map showing below average rainfall for large parts of central and northern areas of the UK and above average in areas of southern England, particularly the southeast.

Those figures are in stark contrast to the northern reaches of the UK, with Scotland having just 44% (39.2mm) of its expected rainfall and Northern Ireland 52% (39.3mm). Wales has also seen below average rainfall, with just 37% (32.1mm) of the average rainfall for the month. England has had 77% (47.8mm) of its average rainfall, but that’s largely accounted for by southern England seeing above average rainfall (105%, 59.4mm), while northern England had just 36% (25.7mm) of its expected rain.  

Interestingly, despite southeast England seeing well above average rainfall, the number of days that it  rained is actually fairly close to average, this is because the rainfall was heavy and persistent when it did make an appearance. Northern England, Wales and Scotland, however, had fewer days of rain than would be expected.  

Map showing average number of days of rain in the UK

Hours of sunshine across the UK has been close to or above average for most regions, with a few duller areas in the west, with Northern Ireland being the only country not to quite reach its June average with 144.8 sunshine hours (96%).  

Map showing around average sunshine for much of the UK, and slightly above average sunshine hours for central and northern areas

Dr Mark McCarthy, Scientific Manager of the National Climate Information Centre, said: “June has been warmer and sunnier than average for most of the country, with minimum temperatures being notably high as nights have remained fairly warm. 

“High pressure was the dominant feature throughout the first part of the month, with temperatures regularly in the upper 20s and particularly warm in the southeast. However, there was a shift in the weather in the middle of the month for southern England which was regularly subject to outbreaks of heavy, and often thundery, rain. Northern England and Scotland, however, largely held on to warm, sunny weather, albeit with showery rain threatening sometimes. Resulting in a sharp contrast in the rainfall statistics across the country.” 

Provisional June 2021Mean temp (°C) Sunshine (hours) Rainfall (mm) 
 Actual Diff from avg (°C)Actual% of avgActual% of avg
UK 14.2 1.2 181.9107  43.2 59
England 15.3 1.3 195.0107 47.8 77
Wales 14.1 1.0 174.1100 32.1 37
Scotland 12.5 1.2 168.2112 39.2 44
N Ireland 13.6 0.9 144.896 39.3 52
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