May was sunniest and warmest ever recorded in the UK

People enjoy the sunshine on the beach in Brighton, East Sussex, on May 15 (Gareth Fuller/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The UK has enjoyed its sunniest and warmest May since records began, provisional figures show.

A total of 245.3 hours of sunshine were measured across the country last month, according to the Met Office.

This is more than any May since current records began in 1929.

It was also the warmest May on record.

The average daytime maximum temperature was 17.0C (62.6F), just beating the previous all-time high of 16.9C (62.4F) set in May 1992.

Met Office data for temperatures go back to 1910.

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Despite thunderstorms bringing showers and flash floods to parts of the country at the end of the month, rainfall across the UK in May was less than two-thirds (64%) of the level expected.

Rainfall in England was 72% of the long-term average for the month, while in Wales it was 62% and in Scotland just 55%.

Northern Ireland’s rainfall was 80% of the average.

Tim Legg, of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said: “Increased sunshine during the month has helped to keep daytime temperatures high, leading to it provisionally being the warmest May since records began in 1910.

“It is also likely to be the sunniest May since 1929 too.”

Derbyshire, Aberdeenshire, Banffshire and the Isle of Wight all recorded daytime maximum temperatures 3C or more above their long-term average temperatures for May.