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ABBREVIATIONS
Release 17.717
Weather
In the text below, the ‘average’ refers to the average for the 30-year period 1981–2010, which is the standard reference period (‘normal’) for 2011–20. Daily rainfall totals are for 24-hour periods ending at 0900 GMT on the day indicated.
The UK’s mean air temperature (July 2017–June 2018) was 9.08°C, the 20th warmest. However, the 12-month period prior to this was significantly warmer (9.76°C); the long term average is 8.87°C. Very warm conditions prevailed during May and June. A mean of 12.1°C in May (average 10.4°C) was joint second warmest with 2017 and warmest since 2008. June, 14.8°C (13.1°C), was third warmest and highest since 1976. Scotland’s mean temperature was 7.51°C (7.46°C), 33rd warmest; the previous 12-month period was much warmer (8.24°C). May, 10.7°C (8.9°C), was joint warmest on record with 2008. June, 13.0°C (11.4°C), was joint third warmest, with 2003, and highest since 1970 (13.1°C). Wales’ 12 month mean was 9.44°C (9.16°C), 21st warmest, and highest since the previous 12-month period (10.03°C). June set a new record with 15.4°C (13.2°C); the previous warmest was 1940 (15.0°C). Northern Ireland with 8.9°C was average. Despite this, May with 11.8°C (10.2°C), was joint third warmest, shared with 1960. June, 14.9°C (12.8°C), set a new record, replacing the previous highest in 1970 (14.6°C). England’s 12-month mean was 10°C (9.66°C) and 18th warmest. The previous 12-month period was much warmer (10.63°C). May 2018, with 13.0°C (11.3°C), is a record, a position shared with 2008 and 1992. June, 15.8°C (14.1°C) was 4th warmest, June 2017 was warmer (15.9°C).
The UK rainfall total, over the 12 months (July 2017–June 2018), was 1,126.9mm, slightly drier than average (1,128.6mm); 2016–17 was much drier (961.4mm). Scotland totalled 1,468.6mm (1523.1mm), the driest since 2016–17 (1,371.7mm). The summer (2017) was 5th wettest, 410.8mm (290.2mm), and wettest since 2009 (427.8mm). Wales, 1,455.3 (1,417.2mm), was the wettest since 2015–16 (1,765.8mm). June 2018 was 4th driest (19mm) and lowest since 1942 (15.1mm); the average is 82.7 mm. The 12-month totals for Northern Ireland and England were above average with 1,247.0mm (1,137.2mm) and 854.8mm (843.3mm) respectively. June 2018 was England’s 3rd driest, 15mm (61.1mm), and driest since 1925 (4.3mm).
UK sunshine (July 2017–June 2018) totalled 1,470.1 hours, 8th sunniest, and highest since 2014–15 (1,542.5 hours); the average is 1,368.6 hours. February (95.6 hours) and June (239.9 hours) were 2nd and 5th highest respectively and May (246 hours) set a new record replacing the previous highest set in 1989 (241.7 hours). Similar rankings were recorded regionally and a new record for May of 230.8 hours (177 hours) was set in Scotland; the previous highest was in 2000 (229.3 hours). The 12-month totals for the four UK regions were Scotland 1,326.5 hours (1,170.5 hours), its 3rd sunniest, and highest since 1955–56 (1,400.3 hours). Both Wales, 1,447 hours (1,384.5 hours) and Northern Ireland, 1,370 hours (1,228.2 hours), were sunniest since 2014–15. England totalled 1,569.5 hours (1,500 hours), the previous 12-month period was sunnier, 1,590.4 hours.
NEWSWORTHY EVENTS
July was mostly unsettled with short-lived periods of warm settled weather which were confined mainly to south-east England. At times, thunderstorms brought travel disruption and property damage to parts of the country.
August was mostly cool and unsettled with intense thundery showers or longer periods of rain causing localised flooding and some transport disruption. A brief respite to these conditions prevailed with fine weather during the 17th–23rd and especially the 27th–29th when it was hot in the south-east.
September was unsettled with frequent Atlantic low pressure systems bringing periods of rain and strong winds. The autumn’s first named storm, Aileen, affected the country over the 12th–13th leading to localised flooding, power outages and some transport disruption.
After an unsettled start, October was predominantly mild. Ex-hurricane Ophelia brought exceptionally warm conditions on the 16th along with strong winds causing power and travel disruption to the Republic of Ireland and western parts of the UK. Storm Brian brought strong winds on the 21st, however travel disruption was confined mainly to Wales and coastal areas of south-west England.
November was changeable with periods of locally heavy rainfall, particularly over the period 20th–23rd, causing some travel disruption. Icy conditions during the 25th–26th caused difficult driving for parts of north Wales and delays on some South Western railway services. North Yorkshire on the 28th and Aberdeenshire on the 29th were affected by snow.
Strong winds associated with Storm Caroline caused power outages and travel disruption in north Scotland and Northern Ireland on 7 December. Snowfall on the 10th gave rise to travel disruption and power cuts across parts of Wales and the West Midlands. Over the next eight days further disruption from snow occurred across central England, Wales and Scotland. It was unsettled between Christmas and New Year with further snowfall and strong winds with Storm Dylan affecting south-west England and Northern Ireland, especially over the 30th–31st.
January began very windy with Storm Eleanor bringing widespread travel disruption and power cuts across the UK over the 2nd–3rd. Between the 16th–22nd the weather was wintry in nature with snowfall first affecting Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England and later Wales and southern England. Heavy rain and strong winds on the 24th caused some disruption.
February began cold and icy, causing difficult driving across parts of the country. Mild conditions set in during the second and third week. Near month's end a bitterly cold easterly wind, named ‘The Beast from the East’ by the media, set in across the country. Snowfall across parts of eastern England and Scotland caused travel disruption and power cuts occurred in Aberdeenshire.
Bitterly cold easterly winds continued into March bringing freezing conditions across the UK with daytime temperatures remaining sub-freezing for a time. Snowfall caused difficulties for many parts of the country and atrocious road conditions. Some communities in the north-west were cut off for days. After a brief interlude of mild weather a second spell of cold weather occurred (17th–18th), again bringing disruption for parts of the country, although not as severe as the beginning of the month.
The cold weather of March extended into early April (5th) after which the cold abated. Heavy rain over the 1st–2nd caused some rivers in northern England to flood. Snowfall in the north made some roads impassable. More flooding occurred in parts of the country on the 9th and 10th causing some disruption to travel. Windy weather at the end of the month caused delays for channel crossings and flights in the south-east.
May began very unsettled with heavy rain causing some travel disruption for parts of England and Wales. However, a period of warm weather soon followed giving rise to the warmest early May Bank Holiday on record. Towards the end of the month thunderstorms and torrential downpours caused disruption in parts of England, in particularly the Midlands, due to flash flooding and lightning strikes.
June’s weather was mostly mixed with heavy showers giving rise to some localised flooding early in the month. An active low pressure system, named storm Hector, brought heavy rain and strong winds over the 13th–14th. Travel disruption and power outages were confined to Northern Ireland, Scotland and north-west England. Hot weather across the UK later in the month gave rise to depleted rivers, buckling of railway track and the threat to parched grasslands by fire.
WEATHER STATISTICS 2017
Mean Temp.
Diff. from
Rainfall
Percentage
Sunshine
Percentage
°C
normal °C*
mm
of normal*
hours
of normal*
England
10.4
+0.7
826.6
98%
1,509.8
101%
Wales
9.9
+0.8
1,415.8
100%
1,333.4
96%
Scotland
8.0
+0.6
1,534.2
101%
1,183.5
101%
Northern Ireland
9.5
+0.5
1,149.7
101%
1,233.1
100%
United Kingdom
9.6
+0.7
1,124.4
100%
1,374.0
100%
* The standard reference period ('normal') for 2011–20 is the average for the 30-year period 1981–2010

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