England had its joint hottest summer on record in a series that runs from 1884, according to provisional statistics from the UK Met Office.
The announcement means that four of the five warmest summers on record for England have occurred since 2003.
High pressure has dominated the UK weather this summer, bringing long spells of dry and warm weather to many areas and allowing heatwaves to develop each month, most notably in July. Overall, the UK has seen 62% of its usual summer rainfall and mean temperatures were 1.1°C above the average of 14.6°C.
In England, the warm and dry conditions have been more notable, with the mean temperature the joint warmest ever recorded (17.1°C), equaling that of summer 2018; some areas have seen less than 50% of their typical summer rainfall. The warmest and driest areas relative to average were in the East; for East Anglia and parts of northeast England, it was the hottest summer on record.
The hot weather was not confined to England. It was provisionally the fourth warmest summer for the UK overall. The UK’s warmest summers are all very close: 2018 (15.8°C), 2006 (15.8°C), 2003 (15.7°C), 2022 (15.7°C), 1976 (15.7°C). It was the eighth warmest summer for both Scotland and Wales and the 12th warmest for Northern Ireland.
In England, 2022 was the sixth driest summer on record with 103mm of rainfall, and the driest since 1995, when there was just 66mm of rain, in a series from 1836. For the UK overall it was the 10th driest summer, with 156mm of rain, and the driest since 1995, when 106mm fell. Some of the driest regions relative to average were in East Anglia. Suffolk had its second driest summer behind 1921, and Norfolk its third driest (behind 1921 and 1983).
Dr Mark McCarthy, science manager at the National Climate Information Centre, said, “For many, this summer’s record-breaking heat in July – where temperatures reached 40.3°C at Coningsby in Lincolnshire – will be the season’s most memorable aspect. However, for England to achieve its joint warmest summer takes more than extreme heat over a couple of days, so we shouldn’t forget that we experienced some persistently warm and hot spells through June and August too.”