Heatwaves, thunderstorms, rain and more... find out your weather report for 2023

Heatwaves, thunderstorms, rain and more... find out your weather report for 2023

Overheated temperatures, heavy rain, flooding and storms... the United Kingdom was once again buffeted by the weather in 2023. Find out more.

Winter 2022/2023

If there's one thing that hasn't changed in 2023, it's the worsening of climate change, with ever-warmer temperatures. On average, winter temperatures were around 0.2°C warmer than normal. According to MetOffice records, February was the most exceptional month of the winter of 2022/2023. While it was the mildest of the winter, it was also the driest. The Sencrop network of weather stations recorded just a few tens of millimetres of precipitation from the south of England up towards Wales and Northern Ireland. The same is true of Scotland, where rainfall was very little compared with normal. In fact, according to MetOffice data, this was the 8th driest February on record in Scotland since 1836.

Impact on agriculture: The lack of water during this period raised fears for the worst in the agricultural sector (possible endangerment of crops and water restrictions).
The mild conditions also favoured the early development of plants, exposing them to the risk of frost.

Spring 2023

The limited rainfall in the UK during the winter sparked concerns about water shortages. Fortunately, spring 2023 brought a slightly higher rainfall than usual for the season, showing an increase of about 6%. However, this increase was insufficient to offset a significant rainfall deficit, especially between Northern Ireland and Scotland since late 2022.

While many parts of the UK experienced regular spring rainfall, Scotland did not share this pattern. Official MetOffice records indicate that spring 2023 was Scotland's driest since spring 2018. Discussions about the escalating risk of drought were ongoing just weeks before the onset of summer. Furthermore, temperatures across the UK were marginally higher than seasonal averages.

Impact on agriculture: The arid spring raised concerns among farmers in the northern regions of the UK regarding tiller death in May. Consequently, farmers had to irrigate their cereal crops, leading to elevated input costs.

Summer 2023

There were no surprises this summer: it too was too hot and too dry. According to official data, the average temperature across the country was 15.4°C, around 0.8°C warmer than average. Heat records were set as early as June. June was warmer than July and August, which is not unheard of but rare. Around 10 June, several Sencrop weather stations exceeded 30°C.

As far as rainfall is concerned, it was much heavier than last year at the same time. The hot season was around 11% wetter than normal. And let's not forget that, in addition to the rain, the wind blew in during the final days of the summer. In the middle of August, 2 storms crossed our country: Antoni on 5 August, then Betty between 18 and 19 August.

Impact on agriculture: Stormy weather and heavy rainfall have made harvesting complicated. These conditions notably impacted the quality of the harvested grains.
Storms and heat waves have also favoured the development of mildew for potato growers during this harvest season.

Autumn 2023

Summer continued into September. At the start of the month, temperatures once again topped 30°C in the south of the UK! Nationwide, temperatures were around 1.04°C above seasonal normals. It was in Wales and the south of England that the deviation from the average was greatest, sometimes exceeding 1.5°C! For these two regions, it was the warmest autumn on record since meteorological records began in 1884. While October acted as a transition between summer and the arrival of autumn, November was a much more normal month in terms of temperatures.

As the weeks went by, the rain returned in abundance in many areas, sometimes causing major flooding and agricultural losses. There are very large surpluses, particularly in the eastern parts of Scotland and England. Rainfall was also very heavy in the south of England and in Northern Ireland. Heavy storms also hit, causing extensive damage. Storm Ciaran left a lasting impression, hitting north-western Europe hard, particularly Brittany and Normandy, but also the Channel Islands, where a tornado caused dramatic damage on the island of Jersey. The storm's force was compared to that of the great storm of October 1987, which still haunts the minds of some farmers today.

Impact on agriculture: Intense rainfall disrupted the harvesting of potatoes and beets and hindered the sowing of winter cereals. Numerous agricultural fields experienced flooding.

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