First 10 months of 2022 make it warmest year on record so far, says Met Office

Mild temperatures saw the UK have the seventh warmest October on record, while slightly above-average rainfall did little to impact what has been a very dry year so far.

The latest statistics show that temperatures in the first ten months of 2022 make the year the warmest on record so far, the Met Office said.

The mercury climbed to almost 23C in London as October came to an end, with persistently higher-than-usual temperatures across the southern half of the UK.

A temperature of 22.9C was recorded at Kew Gardens in the west of the capital on Saturday.

According to provisional Met Office statistics, the average mean temperature for October was 11.5°C, with a particularly balmy end making the month the seventh warmest October in a series which goes back to 1884.

The forecaster said every month so far this year has been warmer than average, with the first ten months of 2022 the warmest on record.

The warmest year on record for the UK was 2014.

The Met Office will continue to monitor temperature statistics for November and December to see how 2022 fares.

The weather service said the temperature statistics mean that six of the ten warmest Octobers on record for the UK have happened since the turn of the century “as the influence of human-induced climate change can be seen across long-term recorded data”.

Michael Kendon, of the National Climate Information Centre, said: “What has been particularly unusual about this October is the persistent above average temperatures – particularly across the southern half of the UK.

“Maximum temperatures have been above average on every day of the month – always reaching the mid-teens.”

He said a south-westerly airflow brought warm air over Europe to the UK and that above-average temperatures in France and Spain were also partly responsible for the warmth of the air in the UK late in October.

The slightly above-average rainfall for the UK has not made much of a dent in what has been a dry year, the Met Office said.

So far, East Anglia has seen just 328mm – 52% – of its average rainfall for the whole year, rather than the expected 83% by this stage of 2022.

Counties including Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent and East Sussex have had just half their annual rainfall, the forecaster said.

The UK’s long-term average rainfall is currently at 67% – 780mm.

For England the level is at just 60% (523mm), with the same – 60% or 881mm – for Wales 881mm.

Northern Ireland exceeded its long-term average rainfall by more than 50%, while Scotland had 16% more rainfall than average, with 196mm falling.

Senior Director of policy, research and campaigns at the Consumer Council for Water, Mike Keil, said: “There’s still a lot of rainfall needed to replenish our water resources after the incredibly hot and dry summer.

“Saving water is always a good thing to do, whatever the weather – it helps people save money, protects the environment and reduces carbon emissions.”

In terms of sunshine, the UK saw 14% more than average, with 105 hours of sunshine in October.

England had 129 hours of sunshine, while Wales had 104 hours – both above average.

But Scotland and Northern Ireland had below average sun, with 69 hours and 73 hours respectively.