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Met Office: 2020 our third hottest year on record

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
UK 9.62 0.77 1308.1 114 1495.2 109
England 10.58 0.92 953.8 112 1680.2 113
Wales 9.92 0.79 1680.4 115 1471.4 105
Scotland 8.00 0.58 1796.6 115 1233.0 104
Northern Ireland 9.30 0.38 1307.4 115 1272.8 101


December Rainfall  

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.


December Temperatures 

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
UK 6.8 0.2 1.9 0.8
England 7.4 0.2 2.2 0.7
Wales 7.4 0.2 2.4 0.7
Scotland 5.7 0.2 1.1 1.1
Northern Ireland 7.0 -0.4 1.9 0.1


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