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Record breaking winter for England and Wales

Winter 2015/16 was a record breaking season for the UK.

The latest end of month statistics show it was provisionally the warmest winter for England and Wales since the record series began in 1910, while it was the third-warmest for the UK as a whole.  The warmth has been most notable in the south of the UK with mean temperatures across much of the area more than 2C above average.

In the Central England Temperature record series, the longest temperature record in the world dating back to 1659, this winter has been the second-warmest at 6.7C, just behind  the previous record of 6.8C set 1869.

Rainfall Winter 2015/16Mean Temp Winter 2015/16

It has also been the wettest in the record series for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the second-wettest for the UK as a whole just behind the winter of 2013/2014.

Following the extreme rainfall in December and early January across mainly northern and western parts of the UK, this has been a wet winter. The figures show a rainfall total for the UK of over 529 mm, well above the long term winter average of 330.4mm. This makes Winter 2015/16 the second wettest on record behind 2013/14 (545mm). These are the only two years with rainfall totals exceeding 500mm, the next wettest is 1995 (485mm).

The only places where above average rainfall wasn't recorded were parts of East Anglia and eastern England and there were large contrasts across the country, with the wettest areas in a swathe from Wales to eastern Scotland where many areas saw double the amount of rainfall normally recorded in winter.

It is the wettest winter on record for Wales with 778mm (beating 2013/2014, 726mm), Scotland with 780mm (beating 2013/2014, 744mm) and Northern Ireland with 508mm (beating 1994, 489mm.

For some regions such as north west England, North Wales and east Scotland the rainfall records have been broken by a very wide margin with some places seeing more than double the expected winter rainfall.


Mean Temperature

Sunshine Duration


Winter 2015/16Actual Deg CAnom Deg CActual HrsAnom %Actual %Anom %
Northern Ireland5.31.0131.589508.1161

You can find out what the rest of the year has been like on our Climate summaries.

*Data from the Met Office's UK digitised records dating back to 1910.

Please note that these provisional figures, especially for rainfall and sunshine, are subject to revision. Anomalies are expressed relative to the 1981-2010 averaging period.

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