Winter 2022-23 saw average temperatures overall, with a cold December and mild February. It was a dry winter, particularly in the south, and very sunny in England and Wales, particularly in the east; it was the third suniest on record (since 1919). Temperatures remained low in England Wales though; we have to go back to 1986 to find a year with a worse absence of early warmth. Unusually June was warmer than July, the first time this has happened since 1970. Before 1970 it happened in 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940, and 1950 ... odd, as well as 1922, 1965, and 1966. The hottest day of the year fell in September, the first time for the whole UK since 1954 (although there was a disputed figure in 1962; and the hottest day in mainland Britain in 2016 fell in September). Autumn overall was mild, especially across the south, and indeed it was the warmest autumn on record in the southwest; it was also very wet, particularly in East Scotland.
January. The month of January 2023 had a very mild and wet first half, colder and drier second half, resulting in close to average temperatures overall nearly everywhere. It was particularly cold in parts of Scotland midmonth. The highest temperature of the month was 15.8 at Dyce (Aberdeenshire) on the 24th, and the lowest -10.4 at Drumnadrochit on the 19th. Overall rainfall was about average at 103% of the long-term average across the UK, although much of the rain fell in the first couple of weeks. It was wetter in the west, and drier in the northease. 100.2 mm of rain fell at Maerdy Water Works (Mid-Glamorgan( on the observering day 11-12th. It was a very sunny month, being the second sunniest for England (just behind the exceptionally 2022) and third sunniest for the UK overall (also behind 1919), at 133%, but it was quite dull in NW Scotland. The deepest sn ow depth was 34 cm at Loch Glascarnoch on the 18-18th. There was a marked absence of very windy days, with no named storm.
February. Very mild, very dry, and very anticyclonic, with just a few cooler unsettled interludes. On Sunday 5th the pressure was widely around 1048 mbar, the highest February pressure for 60 years. It was particularly mild in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The CET (average temperature) was 6.5 C (+2.7), although 2019 and 2022 were both even milder, and for the UK as a whole it was the joint fifth mildest February on record. Only NW Scotland saw more rain than average, with much of central and southern England and eastern Wales seeing less than 20% of the long-term average; overall the UK had 48% of the long-term average rainfall, but it was the driest February for 30 years in England (since 1993), and its eighth driest on record (since 1836). Essex saw only an average of 3.5 mm of rain in the month. It was an average month for sunshine (98%), although it was sunnier than average in central and eastern England. The highest temperature of the month was 17.2 at Pershore (Worcs.) on the 17th, and the minimum -8.5 at Tulloch Bridge (Highland) on the 27th. The wettest day was the 3rd, and there was some snow in parts of Scotland on the 18th. There was a stunning auroral display ("the Northern Lights") visible across much of Britain in the early night of Sunday 26th.
March. The wettest March in England and Wales since 1981, with on average twice the average rainfall. It was less however a dry month in the Scottish Higlands and Islands. The UK overall had 155% of the long-term precipitation average, making it the sixth wettest in records dating back to 1836. Sunshine was variable; most areas were dull, and very dull in Wales and southern England, with some places seeing just half the average sunshine, making it locally (Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire, and Hampshire) the dullest since recrds began in their modern form in 1910. It was though sunnier than usual in western Scotland. Overall temperatures were about average, although it was colder in Scotland, with the cold air rarely very far away. The month started very cold but quite dry. The cold spell was widely forecast following an episode of sudden stratospheric warming, although the weather wasn't quite as extreme as other severe cold snaps: it was more of a "Nasty from the North" than a "Beast from the East". On the night of the 7-8th the temperature fell to -15.4 at Kinbrace (Sutherland), the lowest March temperature since 2010. The night of the 8-9th was even colder, with Altnaharra recording -16.0. The 9th saw heavy snow, with drifting, causing disruption particularly across North Wales, the NW, the north, the Pennines, and Northern Ireland, as a rain-bearing front between the mild air to the south and the very cold air to the north moved across the country. The maximum snow depth of the month was 32 cm at Buxton on the 10th. From the 9th it was mild and much more unsettled. The highest temperature of the month was 17.8 ºC at Sanron Downham (Norfolk) on the 30th, and the lowest was the -16.0 at Altnaharra on the 9th. It was the lowest March maximum since 2018. 118.6 mm of rain fell at Honister Pass in Cumbria on the rain day 12-13th.
April. An unsettled month, with temperatures overall close to average (-0.1). It was very wet, dull, and rather cool in the southeast, being particularly wet in Kent, but dry and sunny in the northwest, particularly in the Scottish Highlands. Overall though rainfall was close to average across the country (97%), as was sunshine (102%), all going to show that you must consider regional variations when looking at weather averages in Britain. The highest temperature of the month was 21.2 ºC at Kinlochewe (Ross & Cromarty) on the 17th; the lowest -7.4 at Tulloch Bridge on the 25th and also Loch Glascarnoch on the 26th. The highest rainfall total in one recording day was 54.6 mm at Seathwaite (Cumbria) on the 11-2th. April 2023 around the world: there was a notable heatwave across Spain, Portugal, and Morocco, with 38.8 C recorded at Cordoba airport, Spain, on the 27th, setting a new record high for April in Europe.
May. Overall the month was slightly warmer than average, although without any hot days, although there were some warmer spells to the west near the end of the month. The month began settled, but it then became changeable and wet from the 4th to the 11th. Overall rainfall was average in the south and east, but beneath normal elsewhere, giving a UK average of just 55%. It was quite sunny apart from the east, giving a UK average of 108% of the expected ssunshine. Here in East Scotland it was a dry, dull month, with no rainfall after the 20th. The highest temperature recorded in the UK was 25.1 at Porthmadog (Gwynedd) on the 30th, and the lowest -2.2 at Loch Glascarnoch on the 2nd. 43.6 mm of rain fell at Harestock Sewate Works in Hampshire on the reocrding day 9-10th, making it the wettest day of the month. As I write in early June we could all really do with some rain (and here in the east, some sunshine).
June. By any measure June 2023 was the warmest since reliable records began (in 1659 for the CET, Central England Temperature series). With a CET of 17.0, it just pipped 1976, which although had some very hot days in the south at the end, couldn't match the uniform warmth across the country we had in 2023 (with maxima over 25 for a fortnight, with warm, humid nights). It was also the warmest June across the UK (in a series starting in 1884, a massive +0.9 above 1940 and 1976, now joint second), and separately the record warmest for all of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The average monthly maximum of 22.6C was also a new record. After a dry start to the month, thunderstorms heralded a plume of very warm, humid air spreading across the UK, but particularly, as usual, the south and east. It reached 32.2C, the hottest day of the year so far, in Chertsey (Surrey) on 10 June. There was another hot spell at the end of the month, with 32.2 again recorded, at Coningsby (Lincs.), although the very last day was cool, a sign of a change to come. It was a dry month: rainfall overall was 68% of average, with East Anglia being particularly dry, although it slightly wetter than average in parts of the Midlands and NW. It was a very sunny monthe everywhere, especially in the north and west (144%), making it the fourth sunniest since reliable records begain in 1910, and the sunniest June since 1957. The coldest reading of the month was -2.6C at Kinbrace (Sutherland) on the 2nd (not unusual for June). It was also the warmest June across the Earth, beating June 2019. Some weather trivia: on the 13th, it reached 30.8C at Porthmadog - the first time the 13th has seen a temperature over 30C; remarkable because it is the only meteorologically summer date not to have done this before.
July. July 2023 was in marked contrast to June; indeed June was warmer than July. It was an unsettled month, and very wet, particularly in the northwest and southwest. For the UK as a whole the rainfall average of 170% made the month the sixth wettest July in a series going back to 1836, and the wettest July since 2009. It is the wettest July on record in Northern Ireland (207%, just beating 1936. The month was also dull, with just 81% of the UK average, and it was particularly dull in the south and west. It was also relatively cool (the coolest since 2020) although a cool July now isn't what it was, and windy at times. There was a brief warm spell 7-9th, which quickly broke down into thunderstomrs (the classic British summer of "three fine days and a thunderstorm" of George II). The highest temperature of the month was 30.2C at Chertsey (Surrey) on the 7th, and the lowest 1.2 C at Loch Glascarnoch in the HIglands on the 26th. 110.9 mm of rain fell at White Barrow in Devon in the rainfall day 22-23, and there was a gust of 79 mph at the Needles on the Isle of Wight on the 1st. In contrast to the UK, a heat dome over parts of the US sent a kink in the jet stream our way. One consequence is that temperatures built over southern Europe as a heat dome, nicknamed "Cerberus" (and the "heat storm" later called "Charon") developes there and extremely high temperatures are widely recorded. On Wednesday 12 Malaga in souther Spain records 43C. The kink sends the energised jet stream our way and our weather becomes unsettled, rather cool, and wet and windy at times. The 6 July was a notable day in world weather because the "average global temperature" exceeded 17C for the first time since records began (17.08 to be precise).
August. The summer continued where a disappointing July left off: unsettled. Low pressure dominated the weather, although there was a warmer spell around the 10th. There were two "named" sotrms, Antoni on the 5th and Betty on the 18-19th, bringing wet and windy weather. The 5th was also unseasonably cold, with many areas in the east struggling to reach 15C (it was just 13.2 that day in my garden). Nevertheless, temperatures overall were slightly above average; rainfall was close to average (95%); but it was less sunny than average (92%), being particularly dull in Wales, SW England, and Northern Ireland. The highest temperature of the month was 28.4 C at Wellesbourne (Warwicks.) on the 10th, and the lowest 1.4 at Altnaharra on the 6th.
September. Very warm; with a CET of 17.0 it was the record warmest in the CET series, and across the whole UK it was the joint warmest with 2006. The maxima were particularly high; at 19.4 equalling 1895. It was particularly warm in the southeast. There was a extraordinary heatwave at the start of the month, delivering weather and temperatures absent from July and August. It delivered an amazing six consecutive days over 30º C, beating the previous record three in September (of 1898, 1906, 1911, and 2016). The 30+ maxima were: 30.2 Whitechurch (Dorset) Monday 4th; 30.7 Wiggonholt (Sussex) Tuesday 5; 32.0 Kew Gardens Wednesday 6; 32.6 Wisley (Surrey) Thursday 7; 30.9 Cavendish (Suffolk) Friday 8; 33.2 Kew Gardens Saturday 9; and 33.5 at Brogdale (Kent) (32.5 Cambridge) on Sunday 10th. It then cooled down slightly, with a maximum of 26.9C at Cavendish on Monday 11th. The recording of 33.52 at Kew on the 10th was also the highest temperature in the UK, the first time this has happened in September since 1954 (the higest temperature of 2016 in mainland Britain happened in September, but it was hotter in the Channel Islands in July, and there is a disupted reading for 1962). The nights were also very warm, with a minimum as high as 20.5 at Plymouth on the night of the 5th, counting as a "tropical night". The month had the hottest September day on record in Northern Ireland, with 28.0 at Castlederg (County Tyrone). There were some severe thunderstorms across England midmonth, leading to localised flooding in the SW. Exeter airport was closed, and Exeter saw 63.8 mm of rain on Sunday 17th alone. A severe tornado passed through Wick and Littlehampton (West Sussex) during a thunderstorm on the 17th, causing significant damage to cars, trees, roofs, and windows with one person injured by flying glass. Remarkably the same area was affected by another tornado in October. The second half of the month was more unsettled and westerly, but in the south temperatures were still relatively high. Storm Agnes made an impact 27th-28th. Overall it was quite a wet month, 131% of the longterm average, and it was particularly wet where showers were heaviest, in east and south Devon. It was quite a sunny month, with 112% of the average monthly sunshine. The lowest temperature of the month was -3.5C at Kinbrace (Sutherland) on the 13th; 117.0 mm of rain fell at Honister Pass (Cumbria) on the recording day 19-20th; and a gust of 84 mph was recoded at Capel Curig (Conwy) on the 27th.
October. October 2023 was remakable across the UK for several reasons. Overall it was warm in the south, the average temperatgure being higher the further south-east you went, and average in the Scotland, and very wet everywhere - remarkable given the first ten days were largely dry in the south. The first half of the month saw a north-south split, with high pressure over England and Wales giving fine settled weather. At the end of the first week, there was a very warm spell down south and a very wet spell up north. Temperatures were widely above 20C on the 7th-10th inclusive, and above 25C in the south-east, making it the best spell of warmth in October since 2011. Somewhere exceeded 25C for four days in a row, not seen in October since 1959. The temperature reached 26.1 C at East Malling (Kent) on the 9th, the highest October maximum since 2018. At the same time it was very wet in Scotland; there was an average of 64.1 mm across Scotland on the 6th and 7th, making nationally it the wettest two day spell on record. In Angus, usually a relatively dry area of the country with respect to Altantic fronts, I recorded 96.4 mm on these two days, with 67.4 mm on the 7th being my westtest day in decades here. More extraordinary weather was yet to come, however. This rain was due to an "atmospheric river", where winds from the SE created a continuous river of rain across the country. It was then cool across the country from the 12th to 13th. The second half of the month was unsettled and very wet. Storm Babet brought prolonged and very heavy rain, particularly to eastern Scotland. It's not often you see a "red" warning for rain in Angus. There was widespread and severe flooding, with many trees in leaf brought down by the wind. Angus recorded its wettest day on record; my garden saw an amazing 102.4 mm on the 19th. England and Wales saw its wettest threre day spell on record. Eastern Scotland had its wettest October on record; I recorded 343.2 mm in total, or 386% of the long-term average, confirmed by a station nearby in Auchterhouse. It was also very wet in parts of the Midlands, along the south coast, and parts of Northern Ireland, with over twice the average. The South Downs saw 281 mm, all of it from 13th October. Amazingly Wick and Littlehampton (West Sussex) were hit by a severe tornado on 28 October, just a month after another damaging tornado. It was a dull month, with 92% of the October average for sunshine, and particularly dull in northern England, which saw 78%. The highest rainfall total in a recording day was 129.5 mm at Fettercairn, Glensaugh (Kincardineshire) on 19-20th. The lowest temperature of the month was -5.5 C at Dalwhinne on the 31st, the lowest October minimum since 2019.
November. November 2023 overall saw about average temperatures. The first two weeks were mild and unsettled first two weeks. It then became rather more settled, but it was still mild in the south, but the final ten days were much colder as winds turned to the north, introducing Arctic air. The start of the month continued October's wet and windy theme with Storm Ciaran bringing disruption aon the 1st-2nd, with widespread damage and flooding, particularly in the south (and it was exceptionally severe in the Channel Islands and northern France). A new record low atmospheric pressure for England and Wales was set in the storm, with 953.3 mbars in Plymouth and 958.5 mbars at St. Athan (South Glamorgan). At such a pressure the boiling point of water drops to 98.3C; there was some speculation about whether this fall affected the taste of tea. A particularly severe tornado hit Jersey overnight on the 1st-2nd, bringing large hailstones, rated as T6, across 8 km, the most severe tornado in the UK since 7 December 1954. Although the first half of the month was very wet, the dry second half meant that rainfall totals were about average, although they were still above in the south. Overall it was a sunnier month than average (112%), although it was dull in the southwest and east Scotland. The highest temperature of the month was 16.7C at Writtle (Essex) on the 13th, and the lowest -7.7C at Shrap (Cumbria) on the 25th. The highest rainfall in a recording day was 124.2 mm at Honister Pass (Cumbria) on 13-14th.