Climate zone: The northern part of the United Kingdom is located in the cold polar zone of the Arctic. The southern areas in the temperate climatic zone.
It rarely gets really warm here and you can safely leave your swimwear at home. Due to the warmer temperatures the best time for traveling is from June to September. Nearly unattractive for tourists are the cold months from November to March.
› Duration of daylight and sunshine in the United Kingdom
hours of sunshine per day rainy days per month Precipitation in mm/day Relative humidity in % Water temperature Absolute humidity in g/m³ (approx.)
Temperature records of the last 71 years
The hottest temperature measured from 1949 to October 2020 was reported by the London Heathrow weather station. In August 2003 the record temperature of 37.9 °C was reported here. The hottest summer from July to September, based on all 31 weather stations in the United Kingdom below 240 metres altitude, was recorded in 2006 with an average temperature of 16.4 °C. This average temperature will normally be measured every 4 to 6 hours, thus also including the nights. Normally, this value is 14.6 degrees Celsius. The average maximum daily temperature at that time was 20.1 °C.
The coldest day in these 71 years was reported by the weather station Leeming. Here the temperature dropped to -14.0 °C in January 2010. Leeming lies at an altitude of 33 meters above sea level. The coldest winter (January to March) was in 1963 with an average temperature of 2.0 °C. In the United Kingdom, it is usual to have about 3.2 degrees more at 5.2 °C for this three-month period.
Long-term development of temperatures from 1951 - 2019
In contrast to single record values, a long-term development cannot simply be brought about by all weather stations in the country. Both the number and the locations are constantly changing. A simply calculated average value would give a falsified result. If several measuring stations in particularly cold mountain or coastal regions are added in one year, the average would already decrease as a result of this alone. If a station fails during the summer or winter months, it does not provide any values and falsifies the average again. The subsequent long-term development was therefore reduced to only 3 measuring points in order to have actually comparable data over as long a period as possible.
In the years 1951 to 2019 there were only these 3 weather stations in the whole country, which reported continuous temperature values (Lerwick, Stornoway, Belfast). From these weather reports we have created a long-term development that shows the monthly average temperatures. The hottest month in this entire period was 1997 with 15.5 °C. 1969 was the coldest month with an average temperature of 0.9 °C.
The average annual temperature was about 8.0 °C in the years after 1951 and about 9.0 °C in the last years before 2019. So in less than 69 years it has increased by about 0.9 °C. This trend only applies to the selected 3 weather stations in the United Kingdom. A considerably more comprehensive evaluation of the global warming
has been provided separately.
More detailed information on global warming with a view by continent can also be found on our topic page on climate change
. Data basis: German Weather Service, individual values averaged and supplemented by own elements.