June extends run of warm months

As we reach the half-way point of 2022, June continued the run of each month so far this year reporting above-average temperatures, as warm and dry conditions reigned for much of the month.

According to provisional Met Office figures, June 2022’s average mean temperature* for the UK was 13.9°C, which was 0.6°C above the long-term average (1991-2020). Maximum temperatures were also above average for the month, with 18.6°C the average daily high, some 0.9°C above the long-term figure. This was spurred on by a warm spell in the middle of the month, when temperatures peaked at 32.7°C on 17 June at Heathrow Airport and Santon Downham, in Suffolk. Daily minimum temperatures were somewhat closer to average for many.

However, June’s heat wasn’t spread evenly across the UK, with the highest departures from average along eastern coasts of England and Scotland. England and Scotland both saw average maximum temperatures 1°C more than their long-term averages, at 20°C and 16.6°C respectively, while Wales and Northern Ireland were much closer to their averages, with 18°C and 17.1°C respectively.

Mean temperature for the UK in June against the long-term average

Dry, but not for everyone

Despite some periods of late-month rainfall for much of the UK, figures are still around a quarter below their average for the month. For the UK, an average of 59mm of rain fell in the month, which is 24% less than the long-term average. Areas in England and eastern Scotland were particularly dry, although not enough to trouble any records. However, Northern Ireland did breach its long-term average figure, with 84.7mm of rain being 4% more than their average, thanks largely to some bursts of rain late in the month.

Rainfall amount for the UK against the long-term average

Sun shines for most

Sunshine figures for the month were largely above average, with an average of 195.8 sunshine hours in the UK, which is 14% more than the long-term average for June. However, as with temperature and rainfall, the sunniest conditions were in the east meaning Northern Ireland was the main exception with just 108.1 hours of sunshine – which is 28% less than the long-term average.  

Sunshine duration for June 2022 against the long-term average

Dr Mark McCarthy of the National Climate Information Centre said: “Looking at the weather and climate figures for June 2022, it has been a fairly unremarkable month, albeit with a particularly warm spell in the middle of the month and a fairly dry and sunny month for most.

“With the warmest, driest and sunniest weather to be found in the east, Northern Ireland was the outlier for a few of the statistics, with a few interludes of cloud and rain meaning there has been a relatively dull month, with sunshine in short supply in the west of Northern Ireland.”

Provisional June 2022Mean temp (°C) Sunshine (hours) Rainfall (mm) 
 Actual Diff from avg (°C)Actual% of avgActual% of avg
UK 13.9 0.6 195.8114 59 76
England 14.9 0.5 220.9118 45 69
Wales 13.5 0 190.7107 71.5 78
Scotland 12.5 0.8 170.2116 74.7 80
N Ireland 13.4 0.4 108.172 84.7 104

Climate change

With June proving to be warmer than average according to mean temperature, 2022 continues a run of months since September 2021 being warmer than average, that’s despite a change to a new meteorological averaging period which reflects the UK’s changing climate as a result of human-induced climate change. Even with this recent shift in the averaging period, which demonstrated an increase in average UK temperature of 0.8°C compared to an earlier 1961-1990 period, 2022 has so far been higher than the average for every month, as well as the closing three months of 2021, even when measured against the latest averages.

Mark continued: “It’s perhaps noteworthy that 2022 so far hasn’t had any month report below-average mean temperature. Of course, short-term weather will always lead the direction of monthly statistics, but even with the change in averaging periods to reflect our changing climate, 2022 has had a run of relatively mild or warm weather, meaning that the January-June period for 2022 has been in the top five warmest for the UK in a series from 1884. This doesn’t mean that cooler months won’t still occur, such is the natural variability of the UK climate, but a warming trend for the UK over a longer period is consistent with what we’ve seen in our climate figures.”

The graph shows mean temperature for each month in the UK back to 2013. This is measured against the latest averaging period (1991-2020), with the red bars denoting a month with above average mean temperature, and the blue below average.

*Mean temperature is calculated by the difference between the average daily maximum and average daily minimum temperature.

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