UK heatwave: June one of the driest on record for much of the UK

June was a warm and dry month for most of us and for some it was record-breaking, with many seeing their warmest and driest June on record.

According to the Met Office, temperatures peaked at 30°C in Porthmadog, north Wales, recorded on June 28 . Previously, the record had stood at 32.9°C set in August 2003 at Greycrook, Scottish Borders.

All temperature observations are subject to a rigorous verification process and as such the records are only provisional and could change.

Throughout June, high pressure dominated the UK weather bringing more than our normal share of fine sunny days with high temperatures and very little rainfall.

Provisional statistics show it is one of the UK’s top five warmest Junes since records began in 1910 for both maximum daytime and 24-hour average temperatures.

When looking at the mean temperatures it has been the warmest June on record for Northern Ireland and Wales and fourth warmest for Scotland and England.

Forecast

Looking ahead into next week, the chance of showers and thunderstorms decreases again and all parts of the UK will continue to have hot sunshine.

As we head through the start of July all indications are that much of the UK will stay dry and very warm with plenty of sunshine, although some showery conditions or a few thundery showers could be possible at times.

Looking further ahead there are “tentative signs” that there may be more generally unsettled weather into the start of August

One of the hottest and driest

When looking at daytime temperatures, the UK average for the month was 19.9°C – the same average maximum daytime temperature as in the June of the still-talked-about summer of 1976.

It places it in joint second just behind 1940, when 20.6°C was achieved.

It has also been a very sunny month and for the UK as a whole, with provisional figures showing it is the fourth sunniest on record behind 1957, 1940 and 1975 since 1929.

It was the fifth sunniest for Northern Ireland and England, third sunniest for Wales and fourth for Scotland.

Record-breaking dryness

June was also a very dry month for much of the UK. For much of England and Wales it ranks within the top five driest Junes on record.

A record set in the 1920’s was broken for the South-east and Central Southern England region where just 3.0mm of rainfall was recorded, just 6% of what you would expect for the month as a whole.

Scotland saw the most rainfall (71.4mm, 80% of average), with western Scotland just 6% short of the monthly average.

Northern Ireland also had some rainfall (49.1mm) with the country seeing 64% of what you would expect for the month as a whole.

These statistics show counties such as Essex had 1.7 mm of rainfall (4% of average), Dorset 2.0 mm (4% of average) and Middlesex only 0.7 mm (2% of average) making it provisionally the driest on record.

The Environment Agency explained at the start of June that river flows and groundwater levels were normal for the time of year in most areas of England.

Low rainfall in the last week of June has meant river flows have decreased. However, half of the rivers are at normal levels and groundwater supplies are still looking fairly healthy because they take longer to refill and be used up.