Heatwave: England has had its joint hottest summer on record, Met Office says

England has had its joint hottest summer since records began in 1884, according to the Met Office.

Temperatures equalled those of 2018, with 17.1C the mean temperature recorded.

Four of the five warmest summers on record for England have all occurred since 2003 as the climate crisis increases average global temperatures.

The UK broke its highest temperature on record in July, when the mercury in thermometers in Coningsby, Lincolnshire reached 40.3C.

Some areas of England have also seen less than half of their typical summer rainfall, and the warmest and driest areas relative to the average were in the east of the country.

As for the UK as a whole, it was the fourth warmest summer overall, according to a provisional analysis by the Met Office.

The UK’s warmest summers are as follows: 15.8C in 2018, 15.8C in 2006, 15.7C in 2003, 15.7C in 2022, and 15.7C in 1976. It was the eighth warmest summer for both Scotland and Wales, and the 12th warmest for Northern Ireland.

“For many, this summer’s record-breaking heat in July – when temperatures reached 40.3°C at Coningsby in Lincolnshire – will be the season’s most memorable aspect,” said 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.”

This year started warm, with the warmest New Year’s day on record. Since then, every month has been warmer than average throughout the year, meaning the UK has seen the warmest first eight months of the year on record.

The Met Office has said climate models suggest that future summers in the UK could last longer, with an increased risk of drought. Research by the organisation found that the UK is likely to see warmer and drier autumns, as well as hotter and drier summers from the mid-2020s onwards.

Even if the world stopped pumping planet-heating greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere tomorrow, scientists have warned, the extreme weather experienced by the UK this summer would not get better unless a lot of carbon was captured and stored, known as sequestration.