In Pictures: Heatwaves, storms and a big freeze all hit UK in 2022

It is fair to say the UK experienced all four seasons in 2022.

A stormy start to the year made way for record high temperatures – and then floods and a big freeze.

Winter weather Jan 29th 2022
A person on a windy Tynemouth beach on the North East coast as Storm Malik swept in in January (Owen Humphreys/PA)

In January, Malik – the first named storm of the year – battered northern parts of the UK, with winds of over 100mph reported in parts of Scotland and widespread disruption to travel and power supplies.

Winter weather Feb 19th 2022
A runner looks at wind damage in London as Storm Eunice struck in February (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Three other storms – Dudley, Eunice and Franklin – were named in a single week in February, with two red weather warnings and some of the highest wind speeds recorded in over 30 years.

Dudley and Eunice were both named on February 14 – the first time two storms have been named at once.

Winter weather Feb 20th 2022
Beste Onal, from Richmond, has her hair swept across her face by the wind as she runs along the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park in February (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Exposed costal locations were blasted by 81mph winds while a 122mph gust was recorded on the Isle of Wight, setting an English record.

Winter weather Feb 24th 2022
A man on a paddle-board makes his way along a flooded lane in Uckinghall, near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, in February (Ben Birchall/PA)

The stormy season soon passed, however, with the joys of spring following shortly after.

In April, the UK was warmer than California at 23C and the mercury continued to rise.

Spring weather Apr 24th 2022
Members of the public walk past cherry blossom trees in full bloom in The Meadows in Edinburgh during fine April weather (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Although disrupted by spells of thunderstorms and lightning strikes, the thermometers went on to measure history.

Spring weather May 11th 2022
A brood of Canadian goslings cross the footpath alongside the lake at Calderstones Park, Liverpool in May (Peter Byrne/PA)

On July 19, the UK’s new record-high temperature of 40.3C at Coningsby in Lincolnshire was confirmed by the Met Office.

Records were also broken in Wales – with 37.1C seen at Hawarden Airport in Flintshire on July 18 – and Scotland – at 34.8C at Charterhall on July 19.

Summer weather July 19th 2022
A couple sunbathe as a China Eastern flight comes into land at Heathrow Airport, London in July (Jonathan Brady/PA)

There was no let-up at night, with the UK experiencing its warmest night on record as the extreme heat saw temperatures remaining in the mid-20s.

Summer weather July 19th 2022
People turn out to watch the sunrise at Cullercoats Bay, North Tyneside in July (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The extreme heat was fuelled by climate change, which is making every heatwave more intense, frequent and likely, scientists warned.

Rail services were heavily disrupted, with no services into or out of London King’s Cross, no Thameslink or Great Northern trains north of London, and only very limited services on East Midlands Railway.

Sunflowers in bloom
Nicholas Watts, left, with his daughter Lucy Taylor and grandson Ralph, three, amongst their crop of sunflowers at Vine House Farm in Deeping Saint Nicholas, near Spalding, Lincolnshire in July (Joe Giddens/PA)

There were also very limited and disrupted services running into and out of London Euston, on Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway, and London Marylebone on Chiltern Railways, and temporary speed restrictions in the face of the risk of buckling rails.

Summer weather Aug 11th 2022
A person jogging on a path amongst dead grass in Victoria Park, east London in August (Victoria Jones/PA)

Fire crews battled hundreds of wildfires across the country as fields and grassland were turned into a “tinderbox”.

One regional service said the number of open fires tripled in a week while the Met Office warned most of England was at exceptional risk.

Kew Gardens’ autumn colour
Autumn colours on display at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew in October (Yui Mok/PA)

Some people were forced to evacuate their homes and the National Trust admitted it was on “tenterhooks” over the possibility of a large-scale blaze.

A resident of a village where flames swept through on the UK’s hottest day ever said it was “like a scene from the Blitz” after around 19 houses were destroyed.

Autumn weather Oct 31st 2022
A car makes its way along the B3046 near to Old Alresford in Hampshire at Halloween (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Villagers in Wennington, Greater London, were left stranded after fires first seen in back gardens rapidly tore through rows of houses.

An entire street became engulfed in flames in one area, with neighbours gathering together to seek refuge in a local church, residents said.

Autumn weather Nov 3rd 2022
A wet fox near Southwark Crown Court, south London in November (James Manning/PA)

The heat made way for torrential downpours and more typical British weather, with parts of London seeing more than half a month’s rainfall in just one night.

Winter weather Dec 9th 2022
A man jogging during misty weather in Primrose Hill, London, early in December (Victoria Jones/PA)

The memories of a hot summer seemed distant as autumn led to warnings of gas shortages, blackouts and plunging mercury.

Arctic weather in December, accompanied by wintry downpours and “freezing fog”, saw weather alerts issued as the mercury dropped to as low as minus 9C in the village of Benson in South Oxfordshire.

Winter weather Dec 12th 2022
Deer in Richmond Park in south-west London on December 12 (James Manning/PA)

It came after forecasters said the final month of the year would have to be a near-record chilly one to avoid 2022 being the warmest year on record for the UK.

Winter weather Dec 18th 2022
People ice climbing on the frozen Kinder Downfall, High Peak in Derbyshire on December 18 (Danny Lawson/PA)

Provisional figures from the Met Office showed autumn 2022 – September, October and November – was the third warmest on record, with an average mean temperature of 11.1C, topped only by 2011 and 2006’s autumn figures, in a series which goes back to 1884.