- Warmest June on record: UK surpasses previous benchmark by 0.9C
- Climate change impacts: Record-breaking temperatures and low ice levels
- Drought concerns: Hosepipe bans and regions experiencing prolonged dry conditions
1940 and 1976 established the previous benchmark of 14.9C, which has now been surpassed by 0.9C. Hannah Thomas-Peter, a climate change and energy correspondent, writes that the Met Office’s announcement “evokes sinister connotations.”
Calculated from the average UK daytime and nocturnal temperatures, June’s average mean temperature of 15.8C breaks the previous record of 14.9C set in both 1940 and 1976 by 0.9C.
The month of June was the warmest since records began in 1884.
Mark McCarthy, a member of the Met Office’s staff responsible for weather and climate records, stated, “June 2018 is officially the warmest on record for the United Kingdom, in terms of mean temperature as well as average maximum and minimum temperatures.
“June began with a great deal of high pressure and temperatures that were initially average for many, but once that subsided, warm, humid air began to influence temperatures, with the maximum temperature reaching 32.2 degrees Celsius.
What is remarkable is the month-long warmth, with temperatures averaging in the mid-20s Celsius and occasionally reaching the low-30s.
72 counties in the United Kingdom recorded their warmest June since 1957, including Surrey, Somerset, and Orkney, many of which recorded a mean temperature greater than 2.5 degrees Celsius above average.
Paul Davies, Met Office climate extremes principal fellow and chief meteorologist, stated, “The background warming of the Earth’s atmosphere due to human-induced climate change has increased the likelihood of record-breaking high temperatures.
“Using our… climate projections, we can also see that the frequency of these types of extremes varies depending on the future emissions scenario we follow.”
In the 2050s, the probability of exceeding the previous record of 14.9C may reach as high as 50 percent, or every other year.
June 2023 was also the sunniest month since 1957, according to the Met Office, while precipitation was only 68% of average.
The beginning of July was marginally cooler than the previous month, with widespread rainfall over the weekend.
Temperatures for the remainder of the week appear to have dropped, and precipitation will continue.
The Met Office disclosed last week that ice in the Antarctic Sea is at a record low for the month of June, and is substantially lower than the previous record by 1.3 million square kilometers (501,930 square miles) – an area greater than five times the size of the United Kingdom.
Since August of last year, South West Water customers in Cornwall have been subject to a hosepipe prohibition, which has since been extended to customers in Devon.