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 2021

May began very unsettled and unseasonably cold, with frosts in many places; it became less cold after the first week but continued with frequent rain or showers for most areas. The UK experienced a number of deep low pressure systems that resulted in a number of notably windy days.  The weather settled down for the final few days of the month, when it also became  much warmer.

The provisional UK mean temperature was 9.1 °C, which is 1.3 °C below the 1981-2010 long-term average, making it the coldest May since 1996.  Mean maximum temperatures were up to 2 °C below normal in some areas, but mean minimum temperatures were only around 1 °C below average for most places.  Nearly all areas had a wet month, with only parts of western Scotland having near or below average rainfall, and many places from eastern Scotland to Wales and south-west England had well over double their usual May rainfall, making it provisionally the UK’s fourth wettest May in a series from 1862, with 171% of average.  Sunshine was rather below average for most areas exept Northern Ireland, with 86% of average for the UK overall.

The UK monthly extremes were as follows:  A maximum temperature of 25.1 °C was recorded at Kinlochewe (Ross & Cromarty) on the 31st.  A minimum temperature of -6.1 °C was recorded at St Harmon (Powys) on the 2nd.  In the 24 hours ending at 0900 GMT on the 21st, 103 mm of rain fell at Mickleden (Cumbria).  A wind gust of 81 knots (93 mph) was recorded at Needles Old Battery (Isle of Wight) on the 3rd.  A snow depth of 1 cm was recorded at Achiltibuie (Ross & Cromarty) on the 5th.

Regional values for May 2021

 

Monthly, seasonal and annual summaries 2021

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Winter | Spring

Monthly, seasonal and annual summaries 2020

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Annual

Monthly, seasonal and annual summaries 2019

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Monthly, seasonal and annual summaries 2018

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Annual

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

Climate projections

You can find out more about climate change in your local area in this climate change visualisation tool.

This tool is a collaboration with the BBC. It combines our climate projections and records to visualise climate change in the UK.

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).