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Summer 2018: Joint-hottest summer on record, but it's the hottest for England

Summer statistics 2018 Photo: Chris Page

The summer heatwave of 2018 has been one that we shall all remember and refer to.

In fact, in my lifetime, it will probably have the same impact the summer of 1976 has had with many others. But could it become more of the norm?

The Met Office today has stated that Summer 2018, which us meteorologists refer to as the months June, July and August, was the joint-hottest summer on record for the UK, and the hottest of record for England.

Records date back to 1910, but how close did we get?

UK Hottest Summers on record. Credit: ITV Anglia

Are we splitting hairs?

– Chris Page - ITV Meteorologist and Weather Presenter

Looking at the average daytime and nighttime temperature published by the Met Office we can see that 2018 has "just scraped" the lead, but are we splitting hairs?

In the field, when we collect temperature data we would only read a thermometer to a tenth of a degree.

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As you can see, the margin between the mean temperatures at the top of the league tables (records dating back to 1910) is so small, at around 0.03 of a degree, that it is impossible to separate the years.

Therefore, 2018 joins 2006, 2003 and 1976 as the joint hottest summer on record for the UK and will be quoted as 15.8°C.

The summer of 2018 is 1.5°C above the long-term UK summer average.

15.8°C
Summer 2018 mean average temperature
A sunny day in Cambridgeshire. Credit: Chris Mitchell

In England, the 2018 summer mean temperature was 17.10°C, and the 1976 record had been 17.01°C.

35.6°C
Summer 2018 highest temperature - Felsham, Suffolk

The highest temperature recorded this summer occurred in the Anglia region, with 35.6°C being reaching on the July 27 at Felsham in Suffolk

Teddy the dog looking over the lake Credit: David Bradley

For the East of England

It’s too close to call on whether summer 2018 was the hottest ever in the Anglia region - more data analysis is needed in the next few days - but it will be among the hottest ever.

Summer 2013 is currently the record-holder for the hottest summer in East Anglia followed by 1976 and 2006.

Average maximum temperatures in the Anglia region were around 23.5°C which is more than 2°C above average. In summer 1976 in East Anglia they averaged 24.0°C but the nights were much cooler in summer 1976 reducing the overall mean temperature down.

Final words

Don't get caught up in the stats, but what is interesting is that three of the four hottest summers on record have all occurred since the year 2000. Thus, even more supporting evidence of an ever warming climate. The question is, how long will it be until we match or beat the record...

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