The mean temperature over summer was 17.1C, equalling that of summer 2018. Long, dry spells of warm weather caused heatwaves to develop each month, but most notably in July when temperatures soared to above 40C, a new UK record.
They also caused a drought and water restrictions to be imposed in many parts of England.
Last month was the UK’s fifth warmest August, with a mean temperature of 16.7C. Rainfall was 54 per cent of the August average for the UK overall.
Meanwhile, every month of this year has so far has been warmer than average in the UK, making it the warmest year in a series that goes back to 1884.
“The average temperature for January to August for the UK in 2022 has been 10.51C, making this year so far warmer than the previous record of 10.2°C in 2014,” said Dr Mark McCarthy.
“It is too early to speculate on how the year overall will finish, but the persistent warm conditions are certainly notable and have certainly been made more likely by climate change.”
The UK had 62 per cent of its summer rainfall, with some areas seeing less than 50 per cent of their typical summer rainfall.
Four of the five warmest summers ever recorded in England have happened since 2003, as the effects of climate change are felt, the forecaster said.
UK Weather: Summer Heatwave 2022
“For many this summer’s record-breaking heat in July – where temperatures reached 40.3C at Coningsby in Lincolnshire - will be the season’s most memorable aspect,” said Dr Mark McCarthy of the National Climate Information Centre.
“However, for England to achieve its joint warmest summer takes more than extreme heat over a couple of days, so we shouldn’t forget that we experienced some persistently warm and hot spells through June and August too.”
Following southern England’s driest July on record, rain in August has given some respite to parched grasslands and water levels.
“However, this hasn’t been enough to bring us closer to our usual levels by this point in the year,” the Met Office said.
For England, this year was the sixth driest summer on record (103mm), and driest since 1995 (66mm), in a series from 1836.
“The warmest and driest areas relative to average were in the East and for East Anglia and parts of northeast England it was the hottest summer on record,” Met Office said.
Mr McCarthy said: “Through August, the UK received 54 per cent of the average rainfall (51mm), adding to the list of dry months in 2022.
“So far in 2022, 538mm of rain has fallen on average in the UK and 348mm in England, meaning it has been the driest year so far for both the UK and England since 1976, ranking 15th and 5th driest respectively in a series that goes back to 1836.”
The UK saw 582 hours of sunshine over summer - the greatest across southern and eastern areas of the UK.
Suffolk, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Essex saw 2022 rank in the top three sunniest summers.