The following represents an assessment of the weather experienced across the UK during 2011 and how it compared with the averages for the period 1981 to 2010.
The year 2011 will be remembered for a warm spring and autumn-contrasting with an 'indifferent' summer-and a pronounced north-west to south-east gradient in rainfall.
With a UK mean temperature of 9.6 °C, it was the second warmest year in the series from 1910, eclipsed only by 2006 (9.7 °C). It also ranks second in the central England mean temperature series from 1659. The months with notably warm anomalies were February, April, October and November. It was the warmest April in both the national temperature series and that for central England. New records were set for October during a heatwave when temperatures widely exceeded 25 °C. Such warmth had been rare in the summer, which was the coolest since 1993.
The UK annual rainfall total was close to average, but this masks striking variations across the country. Whilst some places in the west Highlands of Scotland accumulated almost 4000 mm, parts of the east Midlands and East Anglia recorded less than 400 mm. Much of central, eastern and southern England had a persistent rainfall deficiency, causing concerns for water resources, agriculture and the environment. Parts of the Midlands had their driest year on record whilst in East Anglia only 1921 was drier. In contrast, Scotland experienced several very wet months, notably May and December across the west and August in eastern areas. Overall, Scotland had its wettest year in the series from 1910.
The UK sunshine duration for the year was slightly above normal, but with marked seasonal and regional differences. April was one of the sunniest on record across the UK, in a series from 1929. However, August was relatively dull, especially across Scotland.
|The mean value is 9.6 °C, which is 0.8 °C above the 1981-2010 average.||The total is 1172 mm, which is 102% of the 1981-2010 average.||The total is 1406 hours, which is 102% of the 1981-2010 average.|
Last updated: 2 August 2013