UK annual weather summary 2010

Prolonged periods with blocked weather patterns, and an associated absence of westerly airstreams, resulted in a year that was colder, drier and sunnier than average in most areas, particularly in the west.

2010 was the 12th coldest year in the 100-year series and the coldest since 1986. This resulted mainly from cold weather in January, February, late November and, especially, December – which was one of the coldest calendar months in the last 100 years. Only April and June saw any prolonged warm weather widely. Mean daily maximum temperatures were generally about 0.5 degC below the 1971–2000 average across the UK, whilst mean daily minima were some 1.0 degC below across the western half and 0.5 degC below further east. 2010 was the coldest year since 1919 in Scotland and Northern Ireland for mean minimum temperatures.

This was the 10th driest year in the series from 1910 and the driest since 2003. The period January to June was particularly dry, the driest such period since 1953 generally and since 1929 in north-west England and north Wales. However, rainfall deficits were reduced by a very wet July in the north and west followed by a very wet August in the south and east. The year both began and ended with widespread and disruptive snowfalls.

2010 was a sunny year across the UK, provisionally ranked 9th sunniest in a series from 1929. Over Wales, Northern Ireland and western Scotland it was amongst the sunniest years on record. UK sunshine totals were well above average in January, March, April, June, October and December. However, July and August were disappointingly dull and cool in most areas.

The comparisons/maps are based upon provisional data. Temperature and rainfall series from 1910, and sunshine from 1929.

See updates and further information.

National Climate Information CentreMet Office, Exeter

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