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Wales and Northern Ireland have warmest spring on record

Update on May and spring statistics - 2 June 2017

The provisional full Spring statistics have now been collated and show Wales and Northern Ireland have had the warmest spring in the UK’s official records dating back to 1910.

England has had its second warmest spring behind 2011 with Scotland having its fifth mildest. This spring for the UK as a whole has provisionally ranked as the second warmest on record.

The full month and season stats confirm that although rainfall has generally been below normal it has not been exceptionally low, with the UK receiving 81% of its average rainfall.

The latest provisional figures place spring 2017 as being the UK’s twelfth sunniest spring, with Scotland having its sixth sunniest spring.

In a separate data set that goes back to 1659, the Central England Temperature (CET) dataset, spring 2017 has been the warmest on record with a mean CET temperature of 10.27°C. This narrowly beats the 2011 temperature of 10.23°C. The Met Office Hadley Centre CET dataset is the longest instrumental record of temperature in the world, going back 359 years and forms part of the official UK weather statistics maintained by the Met Office.

The provisional full May and Spring statistics can be seen in the tables below.

Provisional spring 2017 data

1 Mar - 31 May

Mean temp (°C)

Sunshine (hours)

Rainfall (mm)

 

Actual

Diff to avg (°C)

Actual

% of avg

Actual

% of avg

UK

9.1

1.4

497.6

114

191.8

81

England

10

1.5

512.2

113

147.2

81

Wales

9.4

1.4

490.7

111

263.8

90

Scotland

7.6

1.2

478.4

118

245.5

78

N Ireland

9.2

1.3

478.4

112

198.1

82

 

Provisional 1- 31 May 2017

Mean temp (°C)

Sunshine (hours)

Rainfall (mm)

 

Actual

Diff to avg (°C)

Actual

% of avg

Actual

% of avg

UK

12.1

1.7

212.9

115

58

83

England

12.9

1.7

201.4

106

57.9

99

Wales

12.4

1.8

219.9

118

72

84

Scotland

10.6

1.8

222.7

125

53.6

63

N Ireland

12.1

1.9

253.2

139

63.2

87

 

Original news release - 31 May 2017

Warm and dry May to round off spring

Early statistics show that both May and spring have been warmer and sunnier than average

Although there have been a few chilly days and frosty nights in places during the month of May, mean temperatures for the UK across spring as a whole have been above normal by 1.4°C (using early statistics up to 29 May) with Spring 2017 likely to rank among the top five warmest in our series back to 1910. Looking at the individual countries, England is on course to have the second warmest spring on record (behind 2011) with Northern Ireland likely to have its warmest spring on record.

Spring mean temperature map (1 March to 29 May)

Sunshine has also been plentiful for many this spring, which could result in a top ten ranking for the UK as a whole with sunshine hours around 12% above average with two days still to go. It was a sunny May too, with Scotland and Northern Ireland seeing the brightest conditions with values currently running at 20% and 34% above the long-term average for the month.

In terms of rainfall, amounts have generally been below normal this spring with the UK having received 80% of the long term average (189 mm compared to the long-term average of 237.9 mm up until 29 May).

However, for the month of May there was more of a north-west/south-east split in rainfall amounts as low pressure brought some spells of rain from around mid-month with a very warm and thundery period towards the end of May. As a result much of Scotland and northern and western parts of England had quite a dry month, whereas across much of eastern and southeastern England totals were a little above average. For the UK as a whole, 79% of the May average rainfall figure has been recorded so far (55.2 mm versus 70 mm).

Spring rainfall map (1 March to 29 May)

Early spring 2017 data

1 Mar - 29 May

Mean temp (°C)

Sunshine (hours)

Rainfall (mm)

 

Actual

 Diff to avg (°C)

Actual

% of avg

Actual

% of avg

UK

9.0

1.3

488.9

112

189.0

  80

England

9.9

1.4

503.2

111

144.5

  80

Wales

9.3

1.3

482.8

109

259.4

  89

Scotland

7.5

1.2

470.1

116

243.2

  77

N Ireland

9.2

1.3

469.6

110

194.1

  80

 

1- 29 May 2017

Mean temp (°C)

Sunshine (hours)

Rainfall (mm)

 

Actual

 Diff to avg (°C)

Actual

% of avg

Actual

% of avg

UK

11.9

1.6

204.2

110

  55.2

  79

England

12.7

1.5

192.3

101

  55.1

  94

Wales

12.2

1.6

212.0

113

  67.6

  79

Scotland

10.6

1.7

214.4

120

  51.3

  61

N Ireland

12.1

1.9

244.4

134

  59.2

  82

Full details of the weather for May will be available in our climate summary early next month. You can also find information on previous months, seasons and years.

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