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Annual 2016

The following represents an assessment of the weather experienced across the UK during 2016 and how it compares with the 1981 to 2010 average.

The majority of months were at least slightly warmer than average for the UK as a whole, most notably September and December whose anomalies were around +2 °C.  However, both April and November were around a degree cooler than average. Most places were within 10% of the yearly average for rainfall, with a slight tendency for eastern areas to be wetter and western areas drier.  Sunshine was slightly above average generally. The most extreme weather events of the year were a series of five named winter storms (Gertrude, Henry, Imogen, Jake and Katie) which occurred between late January and late March, bringing some damaging winds. Storm Angus in mid-November and Barbara and Conor over the Christmas period also caused some disruption. The best of the summer weather was experienced in late July, late August and early September, with two or three notable but short-lived heat-waves (34.4 °C was recorded at Gravesend, Kent, on 13 September, an unusually late date for the year’s highest temperature), but there were also some instances of thundery summer downpours causing localised flash-flooding, and including two notable cases of widespread disruption to electricity grid supplies due to lightning.

The provisional UK mean temperature for 2016 was 9.3 °C, which is 0.5 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average and just outside the top ten warmest years in the historical UK series from 1910. It was also just 0.1 °C warmer than 2015. September was equal-second warmest in the series, and December ranked eighth, whereas April and November were each notably colder than average.

The provisional UK rainfall total for 2016 was 1136 mm, which is 98% of the 1981-2010 average.  No individual regions deviated as much as 10% from their long-term average rainfall totals for the year.  Rainfall patterns were very variable but generally unexceptional. January and June were notably wetter than average for many, whereas October and December were much drier than average.

2016 was a somewhat sunnier than average year for many areas, but again no individual regions deviated by as much as 10% above the long-term average. January was a dull month, whereas Northern Scotland was particularly sunny, relative to average, in October and November.


UK statistical summary
Mean temperature Rainfall Sunshine
The provisional mean value is 9.3 °C, which is 0.5 °C above the 1981-2010 average. The provisional total is 1136 mm, which is 98% of the 1981-2010 average. The provisional total is 1432 hours, which is 104% of the 1981-2010 average.

Last updated: Jan 4, 2017 4:37 PM