2014 warmest year on record, says UK Met Office

According to provisional data, 2014 was the UK’s warmest year on record, or since 1910 when official data started being gathered, says the Met Office. Last year was also the fourth wettest year ever.

Data from the Central England Temperature (CET) series, the world’s longest-running instrumental temperature series, which dates back to 1659, showed that 2014 was also the warmest year on record.

The United Kingdom’s mean temperature in 2014 was 9.9C, which is 1.1C higher than the 1981-to-2010 (long-term) average. The previous all-year record was in 2006 (9.9C).

Eight of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2002, the Met Office informed.

Every region in the UK, apart from Northern Ireland, experienced their warmest year on record in 2014. For Northern Ireland it was the third warmest, after 2007 and 2006.

No single month stood out

Surprisingly, no single month in 2014 broke any records regarding temperature. The Met Office informed that each month was consistently warm. August, in fact, was a cooler-than-average month.

According to the CET series, 2014’s mean temperature was 10.93C, which narrowly beat the previous record (2006) of 10.87C.

The number of registered air frosts across the country in 2014 was the lowest since 1961.

2014 a very wet year

Rainfall for the whole year reached 1297.1 mm, making 2014 the fourth wettest ever. Five of the ten wettest years have occurred since 2000.

UK warmest year on record

Map of the UK showing 2014 temperatures as a difference to the long term (1981-2010) average. (Image: Met Office)

According to data from the England and Wales Precipitation series, which dates back to 1766, last year was within the 20 wettest years on record. No single region, however, had its wettest year on record in 2014.

Last year’s high rainfall total was mainly due to abnormally wet conditions in January and February. May, October and November had above-average rainfall. In Northern Scotland, August was an especially wet month.

In most areas, the other months were drier than average. September was the driest month since 1910.

CET 2014 warmest year

Source: “Hadley Centre Central England Temperature (HadCET) dataset,” Met Office.

January and February had several severe winter storms, which brought damaging winds, as well as coastal and inland flooding.

The rest of the year was comparatively quiet. Ex-hurricane Bertha brought heavy rain, strong winds and flooding to north-east Scotland on August 10th. In early December, a major winter storm hit the north of the UK.

The country experienced some fine weather in June and July. Summer saw no major heat-waves, but there were several instances of localized flash-flooding, as occurred across parts of England on July 19th and 20th.