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.
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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