LAST year was third warmest year in the UK since modern recording methods began in 1884 – beaten only by 2014 and 2006.
That’s according to the Met Office who say early figures show it was also provisionally the sixth wettest year in records back to 1862, and the eighth sunniest year since 1919.
Professor Peter Stott, a Met Office research Fellow in climate change attribution, said: “All top-ten warmest years on record for the UK have occurred since 2002, and 2020 has continued to be consistent with this pattern.
“The general trend of warming as a consequence of climate change is clearly to be seen, not just at a global level, but in our own national temperature records too.”
|Area||Mean Temp (24-hour average)||Rainfall||Sunshine|
|C||Difference from average||mm||% compared to average||Hours||% compared to average|
All regions of the UK received more than their expected average rainfall with some eastern areas actually exceeding their normal December rainfall by the middle of the month.
Southern England and Wales received the most rainfall with Wales receiving 155% (256.2mm) and South England 162% (131mm).
The only regions closer to normal were Western Scotland 105% (199.2mm) and Northern Ireland 113% (129mm).
It was a particularly wet month across parts of north-east Scotland and East Anglia with more than twice the normal rainfall in places.
Writtle in Essex had its wettest December in 87 years while Cardiff also had a wet month with its wettest December in 72 years.
Heavy rains led to flooding in Bedfordshire on Christmas Eve with homes being evacuated. Storm Bella brought more heavy rain and strong winds to parts of the UK on December 26 with a wind gust of 106 mph being recorded on the Isle of Wight, the highest gust recorded in 2020.
Overall, December was a mild one with mean temperatures (24 hour total) for England, Wales and Scotland between + 0.4°C and + 0.6°C warmer than average.
Northern Ireland remained close to normal being -0.1°C cooler than average.
|Provisional December figures||Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature|
|Actual °C||Difference from Dec average °C||Actual °C||Difference from Dec average °C|