Climate and climate change

Climate summaries

Timing of summaries and statistics

Those interested in climate change and predictions of future climates should also visit the Climate Change pages.

UK last month

May 2020

May began with a shallow area of low pressure which brought cool showery weather, but high pressure built from the north-west between the 2nd and 4th, turning the weather more settled.  There was plenty of warm sunny weather for most between the 5th and 9th, but showers broke out in places from the 7th onwards.  Northerly winds brought a cold snap from the 10th to 15th, with wintry showers for the north and east of Scotland, and some overnight frost.  There was a more changeable spell from the 16th to 23rd, but with plenty of warm sunshine at times in the south.  High pressure dominated from the 24th bringing generally dry, sunny and warm weather.

The provisional UK mean temperature was 11.3 °C, which is 1.0 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average.  Mean maximum temperatures were between 2 and 3 °C above average over much of England, but only around 1 °C above average in western Scotland.  Mean minimum temperatures were mostly within 0.5 °C of the long-term average.  Rainfall was 47% of average, and it was an exceptionally dry month over most of England and Wales, but rainfall was above average in north-west Scotland.  It was the sunniest May in a series from 1929, with 143% of average sunshine.  Sunshine was relatively close to average in the north of both Scotland and Northern Ireland, but it was the sunniest May on record by a wide margin for England and Wales, with numerous sites recording over 300 hours.

The UK monthly extremes were as follows:  A maximum temperature of 28.3 °C was recorded at Cromdale (Morayshire) on the 29th.  A minimum temperature of -6.6 °C was recorded at Kinbrace (Sutherland) on the 3rd.  In the 24 hours ending at 0900 GMT on the 23rd, 97.2 mm of rain fell at Achnagart (Ross & Cromarty).  A wind gust of 63 knots (73 mph) was recorded at Capel Curig (Gwynedd) on the 22nd.uch

Regional values for May 2020

Monthly, seasonal and annual summaries 2020

January | February | March | April | May

Winter | Spring

Monthly, seasonal and annual summaries 2019

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Winter | Spring | Summer | Autumn


Monthly, seasonal and annual summaries 2018

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

Winter | Spring | Summer | Autumn


Historical reports

We produce an annual State of the UK Climate report

Historical climate and weather reports are available from the digital library and archives

Maps, charts and Data

Data tables of UK and regional monthly series 

Data tables of monthly station series 

UK maps of monthly data

Temperature, rainfall and sunshine time series charts

Temperature, rainfall and sunshine anomaly charts

Multi-century climate series

Central England Temperature (series begins in 1659).

UK Regional Precipitation (series begins in 1766).