The Met Office annual UK Climate Report has been updated and shows some interesting statistics that may be of interest to allotmenteers:

  • Warm spells are becoming much more prolonged. From 1961 to 1990, the average longest warm spell each year was 5.3 days. From 2008 to 2017 this more than doubled to 13.2 days. This year, which is not included in these statistics, was even longer at 17 days. Notably, the south-east has seen an especially striking increase over the same period, up from an average of 6.1 days to 18.3 days.
  • While the temperature on the hottest day of the year has risen roughly in line with the average annual rate of warming since 1961, the coldest day has warmed at twice that rate. In the 30 years until 1990, the bitterest winter night in the UK averaged -8.5C. From 2008 to 2017 it was -6.8C.
  • The metric of “icing days”, which shows the average number of days each year with freezing temperatures, has fallen from 4.8 to 3.2. In the south-east last year there was not a single day averaging below 0C.
UK heatwaves lasting twice as long as 50 years ago – Met Office