Met Office: A review of the UK’s climate in 2023

The Met Office has published a review looking back at the UK’s climate in 2023, the significant climate events that shaped the year, and how human-caused climate change influenced them.

The year of 2023 was the second-warmest on record for the UK, narrowly behind the record set as recently as 2022. It was also the warmest year on record for Wales and Northern Ireland, second-warmest for England and third-warmest for Scotland.

Main findings of the review reveal that:

  • Eight of the 12 months of the year were warmer than average.
  • Somewhat unusually, the warmest periods were in June and September, with the high summer months of July and August generally cooler and wetter.
  • June was the hottest month of the year for the first time since 1966 and was the hottest June on record by a large margin.
  • A year as warm as 2023 has been made around 150 times more likely due to human-caused climate change.
  • It is expected to reach or exceed the 2023 annual temperature in around 33% of years in the current climate.
  • 2023 was relatively wet with 1,290mm of rainfall, making it the UK’s 11th wettest year in a series going back to 1836.
  • The few wintery cold spells of the year were relatively short-lived.
  • 2023-24 has seen the most active start to the storm season since naming storms began in 2015.

Read the full review here.

Dr Mark McCarthy, science manager of the climate attribution team at the Met Office.
Dr Amy Doherty, science manager of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre (NCIC).
Dr Andrew Ciavarella, senior scientist in climate attribution at the Met Office. 
Mike Kendon, senior scientist in the NCIC at the Met Office.

Photography by Ben Collins on Unsplash