June has been confirmed as the UK’s hottest on record, according to provisional Met Office figures.
The average mean temperature of 15.8°C for June 2023 in the UK is the highest in a series since 1884, with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also reporting their respective warmest June on record.
This eclipsed the previous record by 0.9°C, while the previous top three Junes were separated by just 0.1°C. A rapid study by Met Office scientists found the chance of observing a June beating the previous record of 14.9°C, like we have this year, has at least doubled since the period around 1940. The previous record of 14.9°C was recorded in 1940 and 1976.
Paul Davies, Met Office climate extremes principal fellow and chief meteorologist, said, “We found that the chance of observing a June beating the previous joint 1940/1976 record of 14.9°C has at least doubled since the 1940s. Alongside natural variability, the background warming of Earth’s atmosphere due to human-induced climate change has driven up the possibility of reaching record high temperatures.
“Using our UKCP18 climate projections, we can also see that there is a difference in the frequency of these sort of extremes depending on the emissions scenario we follow in the future. By the 2050s the chance of surpassing the previous record of 14.9°C could be as high as around 50%, or every other year. Beyond the 2050s the likelihood is strongly governed by our emission of greenhouse gases, with the chance increasing further in a high emissions scenario but leveling off under mitigation.”
The rapid study used the UK’s climate projections, UKCP18, comparing the chance of surpassing 14.9°C during the period 1925-1955 to that for 1991-2020.
The UK, as well as England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all recorded their respective warmest June in a series which dates back to 1884, some by a significant margin.
Spurred on by mid-month heat, the UK’s mean temperature for June 2023 was 15.8°C, some 2.5°C higher than average.
The Met Office’s Mark McCarthy, who works in the team responsible for weather and climate records, said, “It’s officially the hottest June on record for the UK, for mean temperature as well as average maximum and minimum temperature.
“June started with a good deal of high pressure and temperatures initially around average for many, but once that subsided, warm, humid air began to influence temperatures, with 32.2°C the highest temperature reached.
“What’s striking is the persistent warmth for much of the month, with temperatures widely into the mid-20s Celsius for many and even into the low 30s at times.”