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Datasets

An overview of the available datasets

The UKCP09 gridded and regional land surface climate observation datasets are provided under open government licence.

Download the data from here 

The following datasets are available and summarised below:

Note: Daily precipitation datasets, and daily and monthly data for most variables for the years since 2011 have recently been added to the dataset.

Daily temperature and precipitation at 5km resolution

Daily climate variables at 5 x 5 km resolution are provided for the period from 1960. The data are available in two formats:

  • A grid for each day covering the whole of the UK. 
  • Time series of daily values by grid point, downloadable in blocks covering 50km by 50km squares.

Daily climate variables

Climate Variable Definition
Maximum air temperature Maximum air temperature measured between 0900 UTC on day D and 0900 UTC on day D+1 (oC)
Minimum air temperature Minimum air temperature measured between 0900 UTC on day D-1 and 0900 UTC on day D (oC)
Mean air temperature Average of the daily maximum and minimum temperature (oC)
Precipitation Total precipitation amount measured between 0900 UTC on day D and 0900 on day D+1 (mm)

Monthly variables at 5km resolution

Monthly climate variables at 5 x 5 km resolution are provided for periods dictated by data availability. The data are available in two formats:

  • A grid for each month covering the whole of the UK.
  • Time series of monthly values by grid point.

Monthly cloud cover terminates in 2006. Snow falling, snow lying and vapour pressure datasets terminate in 2011. Relative humidity, mean sea level pressure and wind speed terminate in 2014.

Monthly climate variables
Climate Variable Definition Start year
Maximum air temperature Average of daily maximum air temperature over the calendar month (oC) 1910
Minimum air temperature Average of daily minimum air temperature over the calendar month (oC) 1910
Mean air temperature Average of daily mean air temperature over the calendar month (oC) 1910
Precipitation Total precipitation amount over the calendar month (mm) 1910
Sunshine duration Duration of bright sunshine during the month (hours) 1929
Mean wind speed at 10 m Average of hourly mean wind speed at a height of 10 m above ground level over the month (knots) 1969
Mean sea level pressure Average of hourly (or 3-hourly) mean sea level pressure over the month (hPa) 1961
Mean relative humidity Average of hourly (or 3-hourly) relative humidity over the month (%) 1961
Mean vapour pressure Average of hourly (or 3-hourly) vapour pressure over the month (hPa) 1961
Mean cloud cover Average of hourly (or 3-hourly) total cloud cover over the month (%) 1961
Days of air frost Count of days when the minimum air temperature is below 0 oC (days) 1961
Days of ground frost Count of days when the grass minimum temperature is below 0 oC (days) 1961
Days of rain >= 1 mm Count of days with >= 1mm precipitation (0900-0900 UTC) (days) 1961
Days of rain >= 10 mm Count of days with >= 10mm precipitation (0900-0900 UTC) (days) 1961
Days of sleet or snow falling Count of days with sleet or snow falling (days) 1971
Days of snow lying Count of days with greater than 50% of the ground covered by snow at 0900 UTC (days) 1971

Precipitation and temperature indices at 5km resolution

A number of indices derived from daily precipitation and temperature are available on a 5km grid. These are provided as either seasonal or annual statistics for the period from 1961. The data are available in two formats:

  • A grid for each season or year covering the whole of the UK.
  • Time series of seasonal or annual values by grid point.
Precipitation indices
Index name Definition
Precipitation total Total precipitation amount over the meteorological season or year (mm)
Maximum 1 day precipitation Highest daily precipitation total and date of occurrence during the season or year (mm)
Maximum 2 day precipitation Highest two-day precipitation total and date of occurrence during the season or year (mm)
Maximum 5 day precipitation Highest five-day precipitation total within the year (mm)
Maximum 10 day precipitation Highest ten-day precipitation total and date of occurrence during the season or year (mm)
Days of rain above the 90th percentile Count of days exceeding the 1961-1990 climatological 90th percentile threshold for daily rainfall within the season or year (days) 
Days of rain above the 99th percentile Count of days exceeding the 1961-1990 climatological 99th percentile threshold for daily rainfall within the season or year (days) 
Rain proportion above the 90th percentile Proportion of the precipitation total within the season or year from events that exceed the 1961-1990 climatological 90th percentile (%)
Rain proportion above the 99th percentile Proportion of the precipitation total within the season or year from events that exceed the 1961-1990 climatological 99th percentile (%)
Consecutive wet days Maximum number of consecutive wet days within the season or year with precipitation >=10mm (days)
Consecutive dry days Maximum number of consecutive dry days within the season or year with precipitation <=0.2mm (days)
Rainfall intensity Average intensity of rain for days with rain >= 1 mm within the year (mm/day)
Temperature indices
Index name Definition
Heating degree days The day-by-day sum of the mean number of degrees by which the air temperature is less than a value of 15.5 °C (see FAQ 8 for further details).
Cooling degree days The day-by-day sum of the mean number of degrees by which the air temperature is more than a value of 22 °C (see FAQ 8 for further details).
Growing degree days The day-by-day sum of the mean number of degrees by which the air temperature is more than a value of 5.5 °C (see FAQ 8 for further details).
Extreme temperature range Annual maximum temperature minus annual minimum temperature
Growing season length Period bounded by daily mean temperature >5 °C for >5 consecutive days and daily mean temperature <5 °C for >5 consecutive days (after 1 July)
Summer heatwave duration Sum of days with daily maximum temperature more than 3 °C above 1961–90 daily normal for ≥5 consecutive days (May–Oct)
Winter heatwave duration As summer heat wave but for Nov–Apr
Summer coldwave duration Sum of days with daily minimum temperature more than 3 °C below 1961–90 daily normal for ≥5 consecutive days (May–Oct)
Winter coldwave duration As summer cold wave, but for Nov–Apr

Long term averages at 5km resolution

Gridded datasets of the long-term averages for the 1961-1990, 1971-2000 and 1981-2010 climate baselines are available on a 5 x 5 km grid for all the monthly variables and temperature indices. The exceptions are that snow and wind data are not available for the 1961-1990 period, mean sea level pressure, vapour pressure and cloud cover are not available for the 1981-2010 period. These have been calculated by simply averaging or summing the 30 monthly or annual gridded data sets for each variable. The data sets are provided as space-delimited text files.

Long term averages at 25km resolution

Gridded datasets of the long-term averages for the 1961-1990 climate baseline period are available on the 25 x 25 km grid boxes of the HadRM3 regional climate model. They have been produced for all the monthly variables, apart from mean wind speed, days of sleet/snow falling, and days of snow lying, for which data start after 1961. Each25 x 25 km grid box value is an average of the 5 x 5 km grid cell values that fall within it. The data sets are provided in netCDF format and as space-delimited text files.

Long term averages for administrative regions and river basins

Long-term averages for at least one of the 1961-1990, 1971-2000 and 1981-2010 climate baselines are also available for 14 administrative regions and 23 river basins. Each regional value is an average of the 5 x 5 km grid cell values that fall within it. The data sets are provided as space-delimited text files.

 

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