The Met Office have released their 3rd annual State of the UK Climate report, which is an annual publication providing an up-to-date assessment of UK climate trends, variations and extremes based on the latest available climate quality observational datasets.
The report shows that 2016 was the 13th warmest year in records dating back to 1910. For the UK as a whole, 2016 was 0.5ºC warmer than average (1981-2010), whilst the last decade was 0.3ºC warmer and sunshine levels were 4% higher.
Mark McCarthy, Head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, said: “Although 2016 may not be regarded as remarkable for temperature, it does feature within a notable decade for temperature records. The trend towards warmer temperatures is clear, but of course natural variation in our climate will always mean that increases are not always even year on year.”
Winter 2016 (December 2015 to February 2016) was more than 2ºC above average the southern half of the UK, and it was the mildest winter on record for England and Wales in records dating back to 1910.
Overall, the report shows that 2016 had 95% of the expected rainfall. However, winter 2016 was the second-wettest winter on record for the UK in records dating back to 1910. In contrast, the second half of the year was notably dry, particularly in the south.
The report also shows that in the past few decades there has been an increase in annual average rainfall over the UK, particularly over Scotland with the last decade being 11% wetter than 1961–1990 average and 4% wetter than 1981-2010 average.
Although we did see some snow during 2016, it was the first year on record since 1959 where there was no observed snow depths >20 cm.
There have also been 7% fewer air frosts and 9% fewer ground frosts over the last decade compared with the long-term average.
- Highest daily maximum temperature: 34.4°C on 13th September at Gravesend, Kent
- Lowest daily minimum temperature: -14.1°C on 14th February at Braemar, Aberdeenshire
- Highest daily rainfall: 125.2 mm on 16th February at Seathwaite, Cumbria
- Greatest snow depth (09 GMT): 19 cm on 10th January at Leadhills, South Lanarkshire
- Highest daily sunshine: 16.7 hrs on 5th June at Lerwick, Shetland
- Highest gust speed: 106mph on 28th March at Needles Old Battery, Isle of Wight
- Highest gust speed - mountain: 148mph on 1st Feb & 25th Dec at Cairngorm Summit, Inverness-shire