First half of the year joint hottest on record in East Anglia and the sunniest

The first half of 2020 has been the warmest start to a year on record in East Anglia. Credit: Andrew Jacklin

While we've all been locked up inside for months the weather has been quietly hotting up across the Anglia region.

According to provisional data from the Met Office, January to June in East Anglia has been the warmest ever - a record held jointly with 2014 and 2007.

It has been a warm six months but it's also been sunny - really sunny. Not only was the sunshine record for the first half of the year broken, it was smashed.

The previous record was set in January to June 2003 with 948 hours of sunshine but this year put that total in the shade but beating it by 168 hours.

796 hours

Normal January to June sunshine in East Anglia

1,116 hours

Sunshine in January to June 2020 in East Anglia

2020 has so far totted up 320 hours of extra sunshine on top of what would normally shine during January to June.

The sun beating down over Felixstowe docks on the Suffolk-Essex estuary in April 2020. Credit: Robert Clay

The mean temperature in East Anglia so far this year - taking into account daytime highest temperatures and night time lowest values - has been 9.9°C which is 1.5°C higher than the long-term average for the first six months.

Every month so far this year has been warmer than normal with February 2.6°C above average while March was 0.3°C above normal.

The highest temperature so far this year in the Anglia region was 32.1°C at Little Paxton in Cambridgeshire on 25th June

It has also been a dry start to the year with only 84% of the usual rainfall in the region between January and June. The spring months of March, April and May were the fourth driest since records started in 1862.

A sunset through the trees at Thurston near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk at the start of April Credit: Trevor Goodfellow

A remarkable six month of weather in East Anglia

January was the fifth warmest January on record and had 3 hours of additional sunshine

February was the fifth warmest February on record and had 15 hours of extra sunshine. It was also one of the wettest on record.

March with fifth sunniest on record with 59 hours of extra sunshine. It was also the sunniest March for a quarter of a century.

April was the sunniest April on record and it was also fifth warmest ever recorded in the region. The bonus sunshine amounted to 96 hours.

May was the driest May since rainfall record started in 1862. It was also the sunniest since records started in 1929 with 118 hours more sunshine that usual.

June could have been the dullest June on record and the six-month sunshine record would still have been smashed. In the end the month added a surplus 31 hours.

A beautiful sunset over the River Deben from Bawdsey in Suffolk on 27 June 2020 Credit: Gwen Gilbert