State of the UK Climate 2022

Tim Sparks & Fritha West, 28/07/2023

State of the UK Climate 2022 - published 27 July 2023 

2022 was the warmest year in the UK series from 1884, 0.9°C above the 1991–2020 average. It was the first year to record a UK annual mean temperature above 10°C. Moreover, 40°C was recorded in the UK for the first time during a heatwave which exceeded previous records by a large margin. The UK's record warm year of 2022 and unprecedented July heatwave were both made more likely by climate change.

Nature’s Calendar data contributed to the phenology section of the report:

  • Indicators for spring 2022 were early by 1–10 days compared to the 1999–2020/2021 baseline for all species except the Swallow. Hazel had its second earliest flowering date in a series from 1999. February 2022 was notably warm and helped to advance the early stages of spring.
  • Bare tree dates were 1–10 days later than the 1999–2021 baseline due to a warm October. Pedunculate Oak had its second latest bare tree date in a series from 1999.
  • Overall, the 2022 leaf-on season was 7–16 days longer than the 1999–2021 baseline because of the extended seasons in both spring and autumn.

In terms of significant weather events, 2022 saw the most severe storm to affect England and Wales since 12 February 2014, this was Storm Eunice on 18 February. The year also included an unprecedented heatwave from 18 to 19 July 2022 which set a new UK all-time temperature record of 40.3°C at Coningsby, Lincolnshire. The period of January–August was the driest across England and Wales since 1976, with drought status declared across parts of England and all of Wales. Finally, in December 2022, the UK experienced one of the most significant spells of low winter temperatures since December 2010. However, the observations show a clear downward trend in events of this type.

Read about this in much more detail in the full report here.

Peacock butterfly

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