Zooming in on climate forecasts: the launch of UKCP Local (2.2km)

User panel

Earlier this week, the Met Office, BEIS, Defra and the Environment Agency launched the latest component of the UKCP climate projections, 12 projections of how the future climate could evolve, using a climate model resolution of 2.2km. Press release here.

Professor Jason Lowe, who has been leading the project for the Met Office, said: “Across the UK, we have all become accustomed to seeing very spatially-detailed models for weather forecasting a few days ahead: this new set of projections applies similar – kilometre-scale detail – to climate projections, several decades into the future. It provides users of the data with the most detailed glimpse of the future, enabling them to make informed decisions about how to plan for what could be some of the most damaging impacts of climate change.”

At a packed event in London, invited guests – including representatives from the user groups who helped with the development of UKCP – heard a range of speakers examine the capability of the latest phase of UKCP data, known as UKCP local (2.2km).

Dr Lizzie Kendon, a climate scientist with the Met Office, explained some of the benefits of this higher resolution. She said: “By working at a finer scale, we’re more clearly able to model for certain geographical features, such as mountains, coastlines and built-up areas to see how these can influence weather at a local scale. The higher resolution also enables us to gain an insight into weather features like convective summer rainfall that happen at a scale smaller than the resolution of the coarser outputs, such as the 12km regional projections. This is particularly important with events like summer thunderstorms which can unleash huge volumes of rainfall such as the event which occurred in Boscastle, Cornwall, in 2004.”

At the heart of the development of the UKCP portfolio was the idea of a set of projections which could be used together, with each providing a slightly different view of the world. Professor Lowe said: “Within the UKCP suite of products there are a range of different tools to investigate the future. For instance, users interested in looking at the range of seasonal warming for different levels of greenhouse gas emissions might focus more on the probabilistic forecasts. Users interested in the large-scale drivers of a changing climate, including beyond the UK, might focus more on the global 60km resolution projections. Those most interested in extremes or sub-daily metrics can focus more on the 2.2km projections. Whichever strand of UKCP is the focus we typically recommend using several of the strands together to get the most complete picture of the future.”

Elements of UKCP use different views of how greenhouse gas emissions will change in the future, covering cases from big reductions in human-driven emissions to a case with large future increases in emissions. In other parts of UKCP – because the calculations are so computationally intensive – we have only been able to run one emission case. The UKCP local (2.2km) projections use the RCP8.5 emissions scenario, which relates to a change in global temperature of around 4.0 C by the 2070s, relative to the period 1981-2000.  Jason Lowe added: “This does not mean this emission future is the most likely – the choice of scenario is still open for the world to make, and the majority of nations have pledged to aim to limit warming to well below 2.0 °C.

“When choosing which scenario to adopt for UKCP local (2.2km), it was agreed to use the higher RCP8.5 case. This is partly because risk-averse decisions, such as how to protect people from potentially dangerous flooding, often take a precautionary approach. It is also because choosing a high-emission scenario also allows users to estimate the response for lower levels of future global warming – for instance by scaling the projections or focusing on results earlier in the century.”

Posted in Met Office News

Climate change: how can the maritime industry be more resilient?

As a maritime nation, the sea has been an integral part of our heritage. But with climate change increasingly impacting the UK, the Met Office’s Tom Butcher examines how maritime industries will cope.

MV Pharos

As a maritime nation, the sea has been integral to our heritage. NLV Pharos, next to HMS Belfast, made an apposite venue to discuss the future impacts of climate change on the marine sector. Photos: Simon Hammett, Met Office

With 80% of the volume of world trade carried by sea, international shipping and ports play a critical role in global supply-chains enabling countries to access global markets. In addition, offshore oil and gas – and increasingly offshore wind energy – play essential roles in meeting global energy demand.

Climate change will cause sea-levels to rise dramatically throughout the 21st Century, regardless of mitigation efforts, and coupled with this, coastal and offshore infrastructure is also vulnerable to changing patterns of storm conditions. So adaptation strategies for offshore, maritime transport and ports industries will be crucial in limiting the impacts of the changing climate on the global economy.

But how resilient are the UK’s maritime industries to today’s weather extremes; and how well are they adapting to future climate change? To explore these issues we brought together senior cross-industry professionals, as well as government and other stakeholders during London International Shipping Week.

Pharos 6

Met Office CEO, Penny Endersby stresses the key role the Met Office plays in linking weather and climate: key areas of interest to the marine sector.

A seminar was hosted on board the Northern Lighthouse Board’s supply ship NLV Pharos, moored alongside HMS Belfast on the Thames, -an apposite location given the river’s long and proud history as a vital hub for UK shipping and trade.

Pharos 3

Baroness Brown of Cambridge – Chair of the Adaptation Committee of the Committee on Climate Change outlines the potential climate impacts facing the marine sector.

The event was opened by Nusrat Ghani MP the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State with responsibility for maritime issues. Baroness Brown of Cambridge (pictured above) set the scene by presenting her perspective as Chair of the climate adaptation committee of the Committee on Climate Change.

Met Office Chief Scientist, Professor Stephen Belcher, provided an update on the latest understanding of weather and climate science, and four panel speakers – representing different parts of the maritime sector – gave their perspectives on how well adapted their organisations were to climate change. Round-table discussions allowed all delegates to share their perspectives on the topic.

Some key themes emerged:

Improving access to and availability of data

A number of organisations within the ports, shipping and offshore sectors are undergoing digital transformations utilising connected technologies. This creates new opportunities for the use of weather information alongside asset and operational data in new and exciting ways to increase automation and improve efficiency. To fully realise this opportunity,industries need to explore new ways of sharing the huge amounts of valuable and available data. It was highlighted that it may take some time for the benefits of these technologies to be realised by smaller port and ship operators who may have ageing infrastructure and lack the deep pockets to fund technology investment.

Incentives for adaptation

Many of the commercial organisations represented recognised the need to adapt to climate change, but expressed some scepticism about how this might be achieved given the economic constraints on their business which may prevent taking a very long-range view. During his presentation, James Trimmer, from the Port of London Authority (PLA), identified some ways through which this could be overcome. The PLA conducted a climate-risk assessment as part of a response to government for the Adaptation Reporting Power. The PLA was aware of some key weather and climate issues on the river such as sea-level rise, fog and wind; but until completion of its latest adaptation report it had not considered the risks associated with peak flow on navigation on the upper Thames. As a result, they established a warning system for the safety of rowers on the river, and this was almost immediately put to the test during sustained flood conditions in January and February 2014, resulting in an immediate benefit.

An interdependent approach

Baroness Brown of Cambridge identified the importance of interdependencies between industries and adaptation in her presentation, and this was echoed by participants during some of the following round-table discussions. For example, the tidal surge that affected the east coast during December 2013 caused direct impacts such as closure and overtopping of some ports and harbours, and the diversion of many ships. However, some of the problems experienced by port and ship operators were secondary, caused by flooding of power stations or the inability of staff to get to work due to the associated windstorm and inland flooding of roads. It is only by putting those adaptation strategies in place that strengthen supporting value chains – as well as key coastal and offshore infrastructure – that maritime industries will be resilient.

Pharos 7








Posted in Met Office News

Hot news from the cold continent

Penguins enjoying Antarctic sunshine

In the stratosphere high above the Antarctic continent the winds of change are threatening to create a weather pattern likely to affect the southernmost extremities of southern hemisphere land masses.

The stratosphere above the South Pole is rapidly becoming ‘hot news’ as meteorological interest is focused on a sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event that has raised the temperature by 40-50 degrees C, promising to disrupt weather patterns as far away as southern Australia and Patagonia, in South America.

In the northern hemisphere, these SSW events are relatively frequent and such an event led to the ‘Beast from the East’ last winter and early spring. This ultimately brought a stream of intensely cold air to the UK and north-western Europe from as far as Arctic Siberia.

Now, the Antarctic continent is undergoing a similar sequence of events to what happened in the northern hemisphere last year, involving a complete breakdown of the southern stratospheric polar vortex, followed by a massive rise in temperature high up in the stratosphere.

Long-range forecasts showed that an SSW event was likely during late September.

How often do we have these events?

SSW events are a natural feature of the atmosphere but it is difficult to estimate how often such a rare event like this occurs.  Our computer models have raised the prospect of its potential occurrence in the past when we have occasionally seen SSW events in computer model simulations of the polar vortex in the southern hemisphere.  However, it was only in 2002 when the only other event on record occurred in the real world that we realised that the computer models were alerting us to a real possibility.  Professor Adam Scaife said: “These events are rare in the southern hemisphere but we recently analysed thousands of computer simulations to calculate the chance of a second sudden stratospheric warming in the southern hemisphere and we now know that it is about four per cent per year, so it is likely to occur on average about once every 25 years.”

What does this mean for the weather?

The change in the stratospheric winds burrows down with time and on reaching the tropopause – the layer separating the higher stratosphere from the lower troposphere – it is followed by a change in the southern hemisphere jet stream which is expected to shift towards the equator.

Harry Hendon is a senior principal research scientist at the Bureau of Meteorology in Melbourne. He said: “We’re not really anticipating impacts until October and maybe extending through to January. So typically what happens is the westerly jet stream shifts towards the equator. So in those locations that pretty much sit right underneath the westerly jet stream – like the southern part of the South Island of New Zealand or Patagonia in South America – they can expect to see enhanced storminess and more clouds and more rainfall.”

Harry added: “Our modelling capability here – where we’ve been anticipating what’s going to happen both in the short term and long term – really depends on our partnership between the Bureau of Meteorology and the UK Met Office. We share the same modelling capability and it’s a really good example of the benefit of this long-running partnership that the Bureau of Meteorology has had with the Met Office.”

Although there is likely to be weather disruption in parts of the southern hemisphere, there is some good news in that the ozone hole is likely to temporarily shrink this year with the benefit that there will be less ultraviolet radiation reaching the Earth’s surface.

Posted in Met Office News

2018: a year in global climate statistics

2018 was a significant year for the monitoring of the climate, as reported in the latest State of the Climate report, published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

One of the highlights is that globally, 2018 was the fourth warmest year in a record stretching back to the mid-1800s. Combined with the previous three years, the last 4 years were the warmest in the record, with 2016 being the warmest in the instrumental record. The report also highlights that every year since 2000 annual global surface temperatures have been above the 1981-2010 long-term average.

In both scope and production, the State of the Climate report series is global. Over 165 authors from around the world help compile the chapter on the Global Climate, including six from the Met Office. The latest State of the Climate report is the 29th edition.

Robert Dunn is a Met Office senior scientist who also leads the editorial team for the Global Climate chapter. Commenting on the latest report covering 2018, he said: “One of the stories that the BAMS State of the Climate draws out is that the number of warm extreme temperatures is much larger compared with the number of cool extremes. For example during the heatwaves experienced last year, new maximum temperature records were set in Japan, Canada and Algeria.

“However, although the number of cool extremes was much lower, they still occur. Notably, during the period when the “Beast from the East” drove a period of intense cold air from Siberia, the UK recorded a new low daily maximum temperature for Spring with a daily maximum of -4.7 C recorded in Tredegar in Wales. There were also cool autumn records in the eastern United States.”

Other sections of the report focus on the water cycle, land surface and atmosphere. Of particular note are the latest reports on the cryosphere – the Earth’s combined natural resource of frozen water, above and below the surface.

Regular monitoring of the mass of specific glaciers descending down mountain valleys – so-called alpine glaciers – reveals that the loss of ice during the period 1980-2018 was equivalent to the removal of a 24-metre slice of ice from the top surface of an average alpine glacier.

Robert Dunn added: “The rate of loss of volume from alpine glaciers during 2018 has been so extensive that it may surpass the rate in 2003, the previous record year. Glaciers have lost mass in every year for the last 30 years.”

Carbon dioxide levels reached 408.5 ppm at Mauna Loa in 2018, compared with 315ppm when monitoring started in 1958.  When looking at the concentration of greenhouse gases, including carbon-dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, their combined forcing in 2018 is 1.43 times greater than the figure in 1990.

After a peak in 2016, the global area in drought has declined slowly to reach below average levels. During 2018 around one fifth of the earth’s land surface was considered in moderate drought and 2.7 % in extreme drought.

Here are some of the numbers from 2018:

3.1 mm—the mean annual global rise in sea level in the satellite era—a trend that is accelerating.

11: The worldwide count of Category 5 tropical cyclones, one off the record set in 1997.

22%…the portion of anthropogenic carbon releases in 2008-2017 absorbed by the oceans, moderating the atmospheric warming but acidifying waters.

24 meters: the thickness that would have had to be lopped off the top of the world’s glaciers to equal the mass of ice lost since 1980.

30 years: the ongoing streak in which global glacier mass has decreased.

51.3°C: new national record for Algeria set at Ouargla on 5 July.

77%: the portion of Arctic ice pack in March 2018 that was first year ice—highly vulnerable to summer melt.

81 mm: the amount global annual mean sea level exceeded the 1993 level.

1262 mm: A U.S. record for 24-hr rainfall in Waipā Gardens (Kauai), Hawaii, 14-15 April.

500 million hectares: the lowest global fire extent area since records began in 1997.

$40 billion: The combined cost of U.S. wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

These key findings and others are available from the State of the Climate in 2018 report released online today and can be read in full here.


Posted in Met Office News

Wet June comes to a hot conclusion

With a warm end to the month and notable rainfall, you may be forgiven for thinking that June 2019 would automatically be a record-breaking month. In reality, the month as a whole might not beat previous Junes for heat or overall rainfall, but it will be remembered for some extreme weather events.

Notably, Lincolnshire received 230% of the rainfall expected in June, compared with the average between 1981-2010. Wainfleet in Lincolnshire recorded the highest daily rainfall total of any UK station with 74.6 mm of rain on 10 June.

Across Lincolnshire, the rainfall wasn’t sufficient to break the June county rainfall record of 181.9 mm in 2007, but with 128.9 mm it was in fourth place in a series stretching back to 1910. New records were set for two-day and three-day total rainfall in Lincolnshire on 10-11 and 10-12 June respectively; both previous records were set in July 1968.

Flintshire in North Wales was the wettest county when compared with average; and here it was the second wettest June since 1910. The rainfall was largely due to the presence of persistent areas of low pressure which had become anchored over parts of the UK, sitting in the loop created by the buckling of the jet stream – known to meteorologists as an Omega block.

June Rainfall map

When reviewing temperatures, June 2019 was a remarkably average month. The mean temperature for the UK was only 0.2 °C above the long-term average. One of the regions to deviate the most from this was East Anglia, with both Norfolk and Suffolk average temperatures being 1.1 °C above the long-term average: 14.5 and 14.7 °C, respectively.

Much of the month had been notably cooler than average, but towards the end of the month an area of significantly warm air moved northwards across Europe bringing record breaking temperatures to France, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. Although temperatures were not record breaking in the UK, several days of high temperatures were recorded across the country with some individual locations reaching heatwave thresholds. The window of heat shifted from west to east culminating in the highest maximum temperature of 34.0 °C at Heathrow and Northolt on 29 June. By contrast, the lowest minimum temperature was -0.3 °C at Redesdale Camp in Northumberland on 10 June.

There was also lower than average sunshine hours for many parts of the UK, with only Scotland and Northern Ireland receiving more than the long-term 1981-2010 average. The sunniest location was the Isle of Man with 236.5 hours of sunshine.

Provisional June 2019 Mean temp (°C) Sunshine (hours) Rainfall (mm)
Actual  Diff from avg (°C) Actual % of avg Actual % of avg
UK 13.2 0.2 160.8 95 111.5 152
England 14.3 0.2 165.0 90 109.4 177
Wales 13.3 0.1 143.3 83 159.0 185
Scotland 11.6 0.3 158.8 106 102.6 115
N Ireland 12.6 -0.1 156.5 104 112.7 148



Posted in Met Office News

Preparing for when the sun wakes up

Written by Mark Gibbs, Head of Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre and Dr Mario Bisi, Space Weather Scientist, STFC RAL Space

Experts from across the globe are in the UK this week discussing plans for a new European space mission aimed at improving our space weather forecasting capability.

Discussions will focus on plans to replace the spacecraft at Langrage 1 (L1) and Lagrange 5 (L5) locations. These proposed new spacecrafts are critical if we are not only to maintain our forecast skill but also enhance our ability to forecast damaging space-weather events with newer instruments and a more secure data supply.

The ‘Preparing for when the sun wakes up’ workshop brings together the key scientific/technical experts, science advisors, governments and service providers necessary to ensure international preparedness for future space-weather forecasting capability.

This workshop, the 3rd hosted by the UK, has special significance as it will be the last ‘rallying call’ ahead of the European Space Agency (ESA) Council of Ministers meeting in December where ESA will be asking member states to provide the funding to begin building the L5 spacecraft ready for launch in 2026.


During the two-day event (27 & 28 June 2019) around 85 participants, predominantly from Europe and the USA, will examine the progress of the two ESA mission studies, the designs of the instruments that will fly into deep space and how these spacecraft support the global effort to mitigate the impacts of space weather.

Forecasters have already glimpsed the benefit that a L5 mission will give, from the NASA Solar TERestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) mission. The two STEREO spacecraft have spent the last decade slowly making a partial orbit of the Sun providing new viewpoints of it and of the intervening space between the Sun and the Earth.

The USA is planning a mission, complimentary to the European L5 mission, that will replace both the NASA SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and Deep Space Climate ObserVatoRy (DSCOVR) spacecraft at L1. Together these two missions would future proof the current assets and provide enhanced space weather forecasting capability.

Severe Space Weather is recognised as a medium-high risk on the UK Government’s National Risk Register. The impacts of an event similar to the Carrington event of 1859 (which is likely to occur on average once a century) could include localised power blackouts, loss of GPS signals (for navigation and accurate timing), and interruption to vital satellite services, which are critical for the day-to-day services that we rely on. These impacts occur as a result of billions of tonnes of magnetised plasma that is explosively released from the Sun, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME). CME’s can head in any direction but forecasters analyse the infrequent images from SOHO and STEREO to determine the speed, size, and crucially, whether the CME is Earth directed.

The two missions to the L5 and L1 points will provide a reliable real-time flow of images and information to space-weather forecasters around the globe, both replacing and improving on the images and data from SOHO and STEREO, both of which are operating many year’s beyond their design life.

The UK has led the initiative to launch an operational mission to L5, from the early concepts through to the current design studies funded by ESA. The UK, through the UK Space Agency is the largest funder of this ESA initiative. Of the four design studies underway, three are led by UK organisations Airbus, the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s RAL Space and UCL-MSSL.

Posted in Met Office News | Tagged , , , ,

Permanent Secretaries visit Met Office HQ

As part of their visit to the South West for Civil Service Live events this week, Met Office Chief Executive Penny Endersby was delighted to host Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service Sir Mark Sedwill to our Exeter HQ along with a number of departmental Permanent Secretaries including Tamara Finkelstein (Defra), Matthew Rycroft (DFID) and Shona Dunn (Home Office).

During the visit they were shown how Met Office weather and climate science helps security and prosperity in the UK and around the world. This is especially achieved through working collaboratively not just with other departments and agencies, but also with the wider public sector, private sector and beyond.


The wide-ranging work of the Met Office which supports government departments includes supporting flood risk management now and in the future, animal and plant health, UKCP18 and air quality with Defra. Further examples include helping DFID meet the challenges of climate change through in-country programmes and supporting humanitarian responses to severe weather. This wide spectrum of work was summed up by Sir Mark Sedwill who said:

“Thank you for making me and my colleagues feel so welcome during our visit, it was fascinating to see the work of the Met Office and I was really impressed with how you work across the Civil Service and the World, providing critical services to businesses and communities. Your work with other agencies and organisations across the public and private sector is an excellent example to us all in providing joined-up public services that have a positive impact on our citizens”



Posted in Met Office News

A cool and wet June so far after a warm start 

June 2019 got off to a false start – despite a warm first few days, the rest of the month so far has been much cooler and rather wet.

The UK has been stuck under an area of low pressure for most of the month so far, bringing a succession of slow-moving weather fronts and heavy rain.

For most days, the maximum temperature has been well below the UK June average of 17.3 Celsius, with the UK average maximum 15.5 C as of 13 June.  Temperatures across the UK were widely below average on 11 June in particular, with much of central Wales struggling to reach 10 C.

June max temp anomoly

At almost halfway through the month, England and Wales have already reached their average monthly rainfall totals for June, with 127% of the expected rainfall recorded in England and 120% in Wales.  The wettest June on record for the UK is 2012, where the country received more than double (203%) of average rainfall for the month.

Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th were particularly wet days, especially in the east and southeast England and northeast Wales, where some places recorded almost two month’s worth of rain in one day.

Flintshire in northeast Wales is the wettest region so far this month, receiving 140.5 mm (225%) of its average June rainfall.  This is followed closely by Lincolnshire, which recorded 111.2mm, or 198% of June average rainfall. .

The wettest place relative to average this month is Wainfleet (Skegness) recording nearly three times (287%) its normal June rainfall so far.

In Ham Hill, Kent, 94.6mm of rain fell within a 24-hour period – twice the June average of 47.6 mm for Kent.

The map below shows the rainfall so far this month as a percentage of the June average. The dark blue areas are those that have already received more than twice their normal June rainfall. In contrast Scotland has received just over half its normal June rainfall in the first half of the month so is much closer to what we might expect for this point in the month.

June rainfall

The Met Office issued a series of National Severe Weather Warnings for heavy rain and thunderstorms during this period, with amber rain warnings for London, southeast England and southeast Scotland. The Environment Agency issued numerous flood warnings and alerts, with significant flooding in Lincolnshire where over 100 properties were flooded and disruption to transport including railway lines.

Why the wet weather?

The unsettled weather and heavy rain is a result of an omega blocking pattern, with low pressure in the western Atlantic, high pressure in the mid-Atlantic and low pressure in the east Atlantic.  The UK has been stuck under this latter area of low pressure, allowing weather fronts to continually feed across the UK from the east.   Heavy showers and thunderstorms also developed in this set up, adding to the already high rainfall totals.

Not everywhere has been very wet however, as western parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland have been shielded from the worst of the heavy rain.

omega block june

Posted in Met Office News

Science Camp in full swing for 2019

Met Office Science Camps have returned for their seventh year, with two camps having taken place earlier this year and two more to go.

Our Science Camps are a popular part of the Met Office STEM Outreach programme, giving 11-13 year old students the unique opportunity to camp overnight at one of the UK’s premier science and engineering organisations.

The camps typically run through spring and summer terms, with students taking part in demonstrations and activities to learn about weather and climate science, as well as finding out more about how the Met Office forecasts the weather and climate predictions.

This year saw the introduction of some new content, which was received well both by campers and volunteers.

Leader of Met Office Science Camp Core Team, Debbie O’Sullivan, said:

“Thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of all of our volunteers we have had a great start to Science Camp 2019. The students had a fantastic time and left a lot more inspired than when they arrived.”

Science Camp pics

And here’s some of our students thoughts from Science Camps earlier this year:

‘Thank you to all at the Met Office for putting on an Amazing, Brilliant, Educational, Exciting camp’

I adored it here, all the memories I have made are irreplaceable. I love the Met Office!’

I had an amazing time learning the process of how the weather is forecasted on a daily basis and how different part of the weather are formed. I now feel more inspired to go into something to do with the weather in the future.’

The Met Office camp was great, because it taught us about a wide range of techniques and skills that would be needed for numerous weather related jobs and issues. I learnt much here and I really enjoyed it!’

The positive feedback is down to the hard work of over one hundred Met Office staff who volunteer their time for Science Camp, demonstrating their passion for what we do at the Met Office and ensuring the camps are inspiring and enjoyable.

With a fantastic start to Science Camp 2019, we look forward to continuing the camps throughout the rest of this year.

Check out our website for more information on Science Camp at the Met Office.

Posted in Met Office News

Unremarkable month brings Spring to a close

A very average month of May has brought Spring 2019 to a close, with temperatures, sunshine and rainfall all close to the long-term averages for the UK.

There have been regional differences though, with a clear split between north and south with varying amounts of rainfall when compared to the 1981-2010 long-term average. South-west England was comparatively dry, in sharp contrast to north-east Scotland. Moray received more than double its average monthly rainfall with 128.8 mm while further south-west Carmarthenshire only received 36% of its average with 33.6 mm of rainfall.


The hours of sunshine have also been close to average across the UK, with the most sunshine in South West England and South Wales where there was 212 hours of sunshine.


Mean temperatures across the UK were all close to the long-term average too, with all regions just under the average. The UK was 0.3 °C below average with a mean temperature of 10.0 °C.


Provisional May 2019 Mean temp (°C) Sunshine (hours) Rainfall (mm)
Actual  Diff from avg (°C) Actual % of avg Actual % of avg
UK 10.0 -0.3 188.5 101 64.8 93
England 11.0 -0.2 201.6 106 43.9 75
Wales 10.2 -0.4 200.3 107 46.9 55
Scotland 8.3 -0.5 168.5 95 105.5 125
N Ireland 9.9 -0.3 158.5 87 58.5 81

Looking at Spring as a whole there is a broadly similar distribution of conditions. Many regions received more than their average rainfall for the season, predominantly in the north and west. Once again, Moray was the wettest county when compared to the long-term average with 45% more than average, 272.2 mm in total. Other areas saw below-average rainfall, mostly in the south and east. Bedfordshire received 87.2 mm which is 62% of its average Spring rainfall total.


Despite spells of warmer weather, including over the Easter weekend, temperatures ended up being only just above average across much of the UK. For the country as a whole Spring was 0.7°C above the long-term average. The mildest location compared to its average was the Isle of Wight which was 1°C above average.


It was a sunny Spring, all regions exceeded their average sunshine hours with the exception of Northern Ireland. East Anglia was the sunniest area with 537 hours of sunshine across March, April and May.


Provisional Spring 2019 Mean temp (°C) Sunshine (hours) Rainfall (mm)
Actual  Diff from avg (°C) Actual % of avg Actual % of avg
UK 8.4 0.7 473.0 109 249.1 105
England 9.2 0.7 510.4 113 170.9 94
Wales 8.7 0.6 467.4 106 340.2 116
Scotland 7.0 0.7 429.9 106 346.2 109
N Ireland 8.4 0.5 372.3 87 295.7 122

You can keep up to date with the weather using our forecast pages and by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as using our new mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store.

Please note that these provisional figures, especially for rainfall and sunshine, are subject to revision. Anomalies are expressed relative to the 1981-2010 averaging period.





Posted in Met Office News