Warm and Dry May Rounds off Spring – Met Office UK

Early statistics show that both May and spring have been warmer and sunnier than average according to to the Met Office UK.

Although there have been a few chilly days and frosty nights in places during the month of May, mean temperatures for the UK across spring as a whole have been above normal by 1.4°C (using early statistics up to 29 May) with Spring 2017 likely to rank among the top five warmest in our series back to 1910. Looking at the individual countries, England is on course to have the second warmest spring on record (behind 2011) with Northern Ireland likely to have its warmest spring on record.

Spring mean temperature map (1 March to 29 May)

Sunshine has also been plentiful for many this spring, which could result in a top ten ranking for the UK as a whole with sunshine hours around 12% above average with two days still to go. It was a sunny May too, with Scotland and Northern Ireland seeing the brightest conditions with values currently running at 20% and 34% above the long-term average for the month.

In terms of rainfall, amounts have generally been below normal this spring with the UK having received 80% of the long term average (189 mm compared to the long-term average of 237.9 mm up until 29 May).

However, for the month of May there was more of a north-west/south-east split in rainfall amounts as low pressure brought some spells of rain from around mid-month with a very warm and thundery period towards the end of May. As a result much of Scotland and northern and western parts of England had quite a dry month, whereas across much of eastern and southeastern England totals were a little above average. For the UK as a whole, 79% of the May average rainfall figure has been recorded so far (55.2 mm versus 70 mm).

Spring rainfall map (1 March to 29 May)

Early spring 2017 data

1 Mar – 29 May

Mean temp (°C) Sunshine (hours) Rainfall (mm)
  Actual  Diff to avg (°C) Actual % of avg Actual % of avg
UK 9.0 1.3 488.9 112 189.0   80
England 9.9 1.4 503.2 111 144.5   80
Wales 9.3 1.3 482.8 109 259.4   89
Scotland 7.5 1.2 470.1 116 243.2   77
N Ireland 9.2 1.3 469.6 110 194.1   80


1- 29 May 2017 Mean temp (°C) Sunshine (hours) Rainfall (mm)
  Actual  Diff to avg (°C) Actual % of avg Actual % of avg
UK 11.9 1.6 204.2 110   55.2   79
England 12.7 1.5 192.3 101   55.1   94
Wales 12.2 1.6 212.0 113   67.6   79
Scotland 10.6 1.7 214.4 120   51.3   61
N Ireland 12.1 1.9 244.4 134   59.2   82

Full details of the weather for May will be available in our climate summary early next month. You can also find information on previous months, seasons and years.

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