LONDON (AFP): England experienced its joint hottest summer on record this year, tied with 2018, the country’s meteorological agency said Thursday, based on its provisional mean temperature statistics.
“This means that four of the five warmest summers on record for England have occurred since 2003, as the effects of human-induced climate change are felt on England’s summer temperatures,” said the Met Office, whose records date back to 1884.
Like much of northwest Europe, large swathes of England have been in drought for weeks after exceptionally high temperatures and several heatwaves alongside minimal rainfall.
The country smashed its all-time temperature record in July, when the mercury topped 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time ever.
Meanwhile the Met Office said last month that the period from January to June this year saw the least rainfall in England and Wales since 1976.
In its latest release detailing the three-month summer period from June, it said England’s mean temperature of 17.1 degree Celsius was the joint warmest ever recorded, equalling the summer of four years ago.
The warmest and driest areas relative to average were in the east, with East Anglia and parts of northeast England seeing their hottest summer on record.
Across the entire UK — which also includes Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — it was provisionally the fourth warmest summer.
The top UK summers were all very close in temperature, with the two hottest ever averaging 15.8 degrees and the two second hottest 15.7 degrees.
“For many this summer’s record-breaking heat in July… will be the season’s most memorable aspect,” Mark McCarthy of the National Climate Information Centre, said in a statement.
“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.”