2022 warmest year on record so far, says UK's Met Office

Reports show that every month this year has been warmer than average

People on the beach in Bournemouth. PA
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This October was the seventh warmest on record due to mild temperatures, while slightly above-average rainfall did little to change what has been an extremely dry year so far.

Temperatures during the first 10 months of 2022 make the year the warmest on record so far, the UK's Met Office said.

There were higher-than-usual temperatures across the southern half of the UK during October and mercury climbed to almost 23°C in London as the month came to an end.

A temperature of 22.9°C was recorded at Kew Gardens in the west of the capital on Saturday.

Provisional Met Office statistics show that the mean temperature for October was 11.5°C, with a particularly balmy end making the month the seventh-warmest October in a series which goes back to 1884.

The warmest year on record for the UK was 2014.

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The Met Office will continue to monitor temperature statistics for November and December to see how 2022 fares.

The weather service said the temperature statistics mean that six of the 10 warmest Octobers on record for the UK have happened since the turn of the century, “as the influence of human-induced climate change can be seen across long-term recorded data”.

“What has been particularly unusual about this October is the persistent above-average temperatures — particularly across the southern half of the UK,” said Michael Kendon, of the National Climate Information Centre.

“Maximum temperatures have been above average on every day of the month — always reaching the mid-teens.”

He said a south-westerly airflow brought warm air over Europe to the UK and that above-average temperatures in France and Spain were also partly responsible for the warmth of the air in the UK late in October.

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The slightly above-average rainfall for the UK has not made much of a dent in what has been a dry year, the Met Office said.

So far, East Anglia has seen only 328 millimetres — 52 per cent — of its average rainfall for the whole year, rather than the expected 83 per cent by this stage of 2022.

Counties including Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent and East Sussex have had only half their annual rainfall, the forecaster said.

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UK heatwave sees highest-ever recorded temperatures

UK heatwave sees highest-ever recorded temperatures

The UK’s long-term average rainfall is currently at 67 per cent — 780mm.

For England, the level is at only 60 per cent (523mm), with the same — 60 per cent or 881mm — for Wales.

Northern Ireland exceeded its long-term average rainfall by more than 50 per cent, while Scotland had 16 per cent more rainfall than average, with 196mm falling.

“There’s still a lot of rainfall needed to replenish our water resources after the incredibly hot and dry summer,” said senior director of policy, research and campaigns at the Consumer Council for Water Mike Keil.

“Saving water is always a good thing to do, whatever the weather — it helps people save money, protects the environment and reduces carbon emissions.”

UK heatwave: London one of the hottest places on Earth — video

UK heatwave: London one of the hottest places on Earth

UK heatwave: London one of the hottest places on Earth

In terms of sunshine, the UK received 14 per cent more than average, with 105 hours in October.

England had 129 hours of sunshine, while Wales had 104 hours — both above average.

But Scotland and Northern Ireland had below average sun, with 69 hours and 73 hours respectively.

Updated: November 01, 2022, 10:52 PM