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Warmest, driest and sunniest summer since 2006

Provisional Met Office statistics for this summer (June, July and August) show that this year has seen the warmest, driest and sunniest summer since 2006.

However, it's not a record breaker on any front - despite the prolonged heat wave experienced across the UK from the 3rd to 22nd July.

The early figures take observations from 1 June to 28 August, then assume average conditions for the final three days of the season - so the full-season figures could see some changes once all the information for August is available.

Using the estimates, the UK mean temperature for the summer is 15.2 °C, which is 0.8 °C above the average (all averages refer to 1981-2010 long-term average). It's likely this summer will finish around 8th to 10th warmest in the national record dating back to 1910.

In terms of rainfall, the estimate suggests about 189 mm of rain - which is 78 % of the UK average, making this the driest summer since 2006 and ranking about 16th driest in the records dating back to 1910. For south-east England and East Anglia this will be the driest summer since 1995

Sunshine is also above average for the UK, with 588 hours amounting to about 117 % of the UK average. This ranks it at 7th sunniest in the records going back to 1929.

While this summer is warmer, drier and sunnier than the long-term average, it hasn't been exceptional. It stands out because the last six summers have been wetter than average, with 2012 and 2007 both being in the top five wettest, and 2008 and 2009 also in the top ten wettest in records from 1910.

This summer also contrasts with the rather cool summers of 2011 and 2012.

The most notable weather of the summer was the prolonged heat wave in July, which was the most significant since July 2006. This year's heat wave was more notable for its duration than the actual temperatures recorded.

Fine and sunny weather wasn't confined to July, though, we also saw spells of warm and settled weather in June and August - with the highest temperature of the year, 34.1 °C recorded on 1 August at Heathrow - the highest UK temperature since July 2006.

There were also some very wet days in parts of the UK. Torrential rain on 23 July caused flash flooding in Nottinghamshire and in other parts of Northern England and Scotland. More recently, heavy rain caused some flooding in Essex on 24 August.

Early figures for August have also been released today, showing that the month is likely to finish slightly warmer and drier than average.

Early estimate Met Office figures for summer 2013
UKEnglandWalesScotlandNorthern Ireland
Mean Temp (°C)
Early estimate for 201315.
Average (1981-2010)14.415.514.512.513.9
Early diff from average0.
Rainfall (mm)
Early estimate for 2013189150232235232
Average (1981-2010)241194286305255
Early % of average78.477.481.276.990.9
Sunshine (hours)
Early estimate for 2013588647650490496
Average (1981-2010)505559521425426
Early % of average116.5115.9124.8115.2116.4

A full summary of the weather this August and through the summer will be available on the Met Office Climate summaries early in September.

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