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A local look at the record-breaking Spring and May weather

Both the month of May and the full spring season have been exceptional for the UK, as outlined in our recent news release. In this blog we look at the local detail of what has been an exceptionally sunny and dry few months.

Sunshine

Perhaps the most impressive of all the national statistics was the number of sunshine hours recorded across the UK. May 2020 was the sunniest calendar month on record for the UK, England and Wales. It has also been the sunniest spring for all UK countries.

As we have seen at the UK level, in May many weather station locations have also had their sunniest calendar month on record. A notable example of this is at the Radcliffe Meteorological Station in Oxford. This station has the longest continuous sunshine record in the world and it recorded 331.7 hours of sunshine in May 2020, beating the previous record of 310.4 hours set in July 1911. Data from this station stretches back to February 1880.

Top 10 sunniest ceremonial counties in May 2020

County Sunshine hours Anomaly (%) Previous record (hours)
Isle of Wight 378.2 168 322.9 in 1989
Bristol 352.1 172 295.3 in 1948
Hampshire 345.4 171 304.0 in 1989
Berkshire 342.4 179 294.3 in 1989
West Sussex 338.2 162 311.2 in 1989
Wiltshire 335.5 173 274.4 in 1989
Kent 335.4 164 311.2 in 1989
Dorset 335.0 163 295.7 in 1989
Oxfordshire 330.7 175 279.0 in 1989
Essex 329.9 166 305.6 in 1989


Shetland was the only location not to record more than its average sunshine hours, with 165.7 hours of sunshine in May, which is 92% of its average for the month.

For the spring season, the Isle of Wight was the sunniest location in the UK. It set a new spring sunshine record of 837.4 hours. The previous record was 718.6 hours recorded in the spring of 1990. All top ten sunshine counties in spring have set new records for the number of sunshine hours.

Top 10 sunniest ceremonial counties in Spring 2020

County Sunshine (hours) Anomaly (%) Previous record
Isle of Wight 837.4 155 718.6 in 1990
Kent 784.8 159 691.1 in 1990
Hampshire 776.8 159 662.6 in 1948
Bristol 775.9 157 689.2 in 1948
Berkshire 775.1 167 643.5 in 1990
Essex 773.9 163 658.8 in 1990
West Sussex 765.5 152 690.3 in 1990
Wiltshire 763.0 162 659.7 in 1948
Cambridgeshire 752.1 164 619.5 in 1990
Dorset 751.1 150 689.2 in 1948


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Channel website: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

Original article link: https://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/

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