Annual 2012

The following represents an assessment of the weather experienced across the UK during 2012 and how it compared with the averages for the period 1981 to 2010.

2012 was a year of dramatic contrast. The relatively warm and dry first three months were followed by an abrupt shift in weather patterns bringing an exceptionally wet period for most of the country from April lasting through much of the summer.

The UK mean temperature of 8.8 °C was 0.1 °C below the 1981-2010 average. It is worth noting that only 2 years (2010 and 2012) of the last 16 have had annual temperatures below this average. March was the 3rd warmest on record for the UK. The summer was a little warmer than 2011, but otherwise the coolest since 1998, and it was the coolest autumn since 1993.

The UK annual rainfall total was 1335 mm (116% of average), the second highest in the series from 1910, narrowly beaten by 2000 (1337 mm). England had its wettest year in the series. 2012 was the third wettest year in the England and Wales series from 1766, behind 1872 and 1768. Many locations from the south-west to the north-east received over 135%, with northern Scotland and the west of Northern Ireland the drier exceptions. The year began with ongoing concerns over long-term drought heightened by a relatively dry January to March, but the situation was then transformed by the wettest April and June in the England and Wales series from 1766, while summer (June, July, August) was the wettest since 1912. Rainfall totals for autumn and December remained well above average, and a succession of rain events in late November and late December contributed to extensive disruption from flooding.

The UK sunshine duration for the year was near average (98%). March was a very sunny month, whereas April and the summer months were mostly dull.

UK statistical summary
Mean temperature Rainfall Sunshine
The mean value is 8.8 °C, which is 0.1 °C below the 1981-2010 average. The total is 1335 mm, which is 116% of the 1981-2010 average. The total is 1341 hours, which is 98% of the 1981-2010 average.

Mean temperature anomaly (difference from average) map for the year 2012 Mean temperature anomaly (difference from average) map for the year 2012

Rainfall percent of average map for the year 2012 Rainfall percent of average map for the year 2012

Sunshine percent of average map for the year 2012 Sunshine percent of average map for the year 2012

Last updated: 2 August 2013