Around the UK
June 2023 is expected to have been the hottest on record
3 months ago
This June is set to be the hottest on record, the Met Office has said.
A cooler forecast for the remaining few days will not be enough to prevent June 2023 from becoming the hottest on record and exceeding the previous mean average record of 14.9C set in both 1940 and 1976.
The Met Office has not recorded a June this hot since it began collecting temperature data in 1884.
Mike Kendon, a climate information scientist with the Met Office, said:
“With only a few days of near-average temperatures forecast for the remainder of the month, overall, this June will turn out to be provisionally the hottest June on record for the UK for both mean and average maximum temperature.
“Meteorologically, June started with high pressure over the UK bringing often settled and dry conditions with plenty of sunshine.
“Once that high pressure subsided, warm, humid air took charge over the UK, with 32.2C the highest temperature recorded so far this month and high temperatures for the vast majority of the UK.
“What has been particularly unusual is the persistent warmth for much of the month, with temperatures reaching 25C widely for at least a fortnight, and at times 28C to 30C – whereas we would more typically expect maximum temperatures in the high teens or low 20s at this time of year.”
Climate change, driven by human use of fossil fuels, is bringing hotter, drier weather to the UK as well as greater disruption to traditional rainfall patterns.
Much of the UK and Ireland remains in a state of drought warning, according to data from the Copernicus satellite, with a hosepipe ban introduced on Monday for South East Water customers in Kent and Sussex.
South West Water customers in Cornwall have been subject to a hosepipe ban since August last year which has since been extended to others in Devon.
Along with parts of East Anglia, the region has not left drought status since the extreme heat last summer which saw 40C bring destructive grassfires and more than 3,000 excess deaths during the heatwaves.
Four of the top 10 warmest Junes have occurred this century: 2018 (14.8C), 2003 (14.5C), 2006 (14.5C) and 2017 (14.4C).
Mr Kendon said:
“While the UK has always had periods of warm weather, what climate change does is increase the frequency and intensity of these warm weather events, increasing the likelihood of high temperature records being broken, like we saw for 2022’s annual temperature for the UK.
“It is particularly telling that of the 12 months of the year, for UK average maximum temperature the records for the warmest months include 2019 (February), 2018 (May), 2015 (December), 2012 (March), 2011 (April), 2011 (November), 2006 (July) and now 2023 (June).
“Statistics such as this clearly tell us of the changing nature of the UK’s climate and how it is particularly affecting extremes.”