UK weather: May 2018 hottest since records began in UK

People in sun next to Tower BridgeImage copyrightJohn Stillwell/PA Wire
Image caption The provisional daily average maximum temperature for May 2018 was 17C

Last month was the warmest May since records began more than 100 years ago, the Met Office has said.

According to provisional figures, May 2018 saw an average daily maximum temperature of 17C (63F).

It would beat the previous May record of 16.9C set in 1992.

UK weather: May 2018 hottest since records began in UK
UK weather: May 2018 hottest since records began in UK

The Met Office said spring 2018, which ran from March to May, had been “very dynamic with many fluctuations”. But the period was 0.3C higher than the average between 1981 and 2010.

Across the UK, the average May temperature was 1.5C above the long-term 1981-2010 average at 11.9C.

With 245.3 hours of sunshine, it is also likely to be confirmed as be the sunniest May since 1989, which saw 241.7 hours of sun.

Image copyrightJane Barlow/PA Wire
Image caption May 2018 was the sunniest since 1989, according to provisional Met Office figures

Records for temperature began in 1910 and sunshine in 1929.

Less than two-thirds of the average amount of rain for the month fell in May 2018.

But with wetter than average spells during March and April, the rainfall for the UK for spring (March to May) as a whole has been near average.

Image copyrightDanny Lawson/PA Wire
Image caption The early May Bank Holiday was the hottest on record

The early May Bank Holiday was the hottest since the holiday was introduced in 1978.

Tim Legg, of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said: “Increased sunshine during (May) has helped to keep daytime temperatures high.

Image copyrightMartin Rickett/PA Wire
Image caption Despite changes in the weather, spring was on average warmer than the average between 1981 and 2010

“People’s impressions of spring may well be coloured by their personal weather memories, from coping with freezing conditions to enjoying a hot spell in April.

“Actually, it may well challenge perceptions to realise that the provisional average temperature for this spring is 8C, meaning it has been largely warmer than average across the UK by about 0.3C, when compared with the average between 1981­ and 2010.”

Image copyrightCrown Copyright
Image caption The beginning of spring saw large parts of the country hit by snow storms

March saw several winter storms including the tail ends of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma.

April saw the hottest April day since 1949 when, on 19 April, the temperature reached 29.1C in London St James’ Park.

The meteorological summer began on 1 June.

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