News and Updates

Met Office releases 3rd annual State of the UK Climate report

The UK Met Office 3rd annual State of the UK Climate report was released on 27 July 2017, showing 2016 was the 13th warmest year based on records dating back to 1910. 2016 was 0.5 °C warmer than average and the last decade 0.3 °C warmer (1981-2010) over the UK as a whole, and for many it was also sunny with sunshine levels 4% above the 30 year average (1981-2010) for the UK overall.

Winter 2016 (December 2015 to February 2016) was the mildest winter on record for England and Wales in records dating back to 1910, with the winter mean temperature more than 2 °C above the long-term average across the southern half of the UK.  Over the last decade there have been seven per cent fewer air frosts and nine per cent fewer ground frosts, compared with the long-term average (1981-2010).

The report shows that 2016 as a whole had 95% of expected rainfall. Winter 2016 was the second-wettest winter on record for the UK in records dating back to 1910, with winter 2014 wettest. In contrast, the second half of the year was notably dry, particularly in the south. 2016 it was not a particularly snowy year for the UK overall and it was the first year on record from 1959 where there was no observed snow depths of 20 cm or more.

Figures show 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 11% wetter than 1961–1990 average and 4% wetter than 1981-2010 average.

This report provides a summary of the UK weather and climate through the calendar year 2016 and is the third annual ‘State of the UK climate’ produced by the Met Office. It provides an accessible, authoritative and up-to-date assessment of UK climate trends, variations and extremes based on the latest available climate quality observational datasets.

Nigel Holmes