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UK had its warmest May and spring on record

According to provisional figures from the Met Office, the UK experienced its warmest May and spring since records began in 1884. Despite the season being wet and gloomy for many, the average mean temperature for May in the UK was 13.1C (55.58F), surpassing the previous record of 12.1C set in 2008.

A representative from the Met Office explained that although it might not have seemed particularly warm due to the lack of sunshine, May was indeed the warmest on record since 1884. This was largely due to high overnight temperatures, with the average minimum temperature for May being 1.2C higher than the previous record.

Rainfall was above the UK average, with some southern areas receiving over a third more rain than usual. In contrast, Northern Ireland and Scotland were slightly drier than average for the month.

Scotland’s exceptional warmth, both during the day and at night, played a significant role in setting the UK record, with large areas experiencing temperatures more than 3.5C above average.

Looking ahead to June, much of the UK can expect several sunny days.

The Met Office also reported that the UK had its wettest spring since 1986 and the sixth wettest on record, with 301.7mm (11.88in) of rain, nearly a third (32%) more than average. The Met Office’s rainfall data dates back to 1836.

In terms of rainfall, England and Wales were generally wetter than average, while Northern Ireland and Scotland received less rain.

The Met Office noted that March kicked off the spring season as a mild and wet month, followed by a wet April with slightly above-average temperatures.

Despite the chilly weather just a month or so prior, the spring of 2024 turned out to be surprisingly warm. The average mean temperature for the UK for the season was provisionally reported as 9.37C (48.87F), beating the previous record of 9.12C set in 2017.

The Met Office spokesperson added that the higher than average temperatures in March and May, flanking a slightly warmer than average April, resulted in the spring of 2024 being the warmest on record in terms of mean temperature. Despite the warmth, the season saw fewer sunshine hours than average, though it didn’t break any national records. High overnight temperatures throughout the season contributed to the record-breaking mean temperature figure for the season, which was also a wet one for many.

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