Summer 2023 in the UK: Hot and Humid Weather

Summer 2023 in the UK: Hot and Humid Weather

Far from being below seasonal normals in terms of temperatures, the summer of 2023 was the eighth hottest in the UK. Summer had its fair share of rain and two electrifying storms that spiced up the season. Explore the full weather story.

A scorching hot June

This summer, the UK saw an average temperature of 15.4°C, which is 0.8°C above the norm, according to official data from the Met Office. Notably, on the Sencrop network, temperatures soared, particularly in June. This serves as another alarming indicator of climate change, as June marked the UK's hottest month ever recorded! The middle of the month witnessed peak temperatures, exceeding 30°C in some areas, a significant contrast to the 40°C recorded in the Coningsby region last year.

Legend: average temperatures recorded in June © Sencrop

June experienced minimal rainfall, courtesy of a robust anticyclone, guaranteeing dry and scorching days. Typically, July and August claim the title of the hottest months in the United Kingdom, making it uncommon for June to hold this distinction.

Legend: average temperatures recorded over the period June-August 2023 © Sencrop

It should also be noted that night-time temperatures remained particularly high, helping the summer of 2023 to rank in the top 10 hottest summers on record dating as far back as 1894.

Rain makes a comeback

A dry June... however, July and August witnessed intermittent heavy rainfall. The Sencrop network of weather stations consistently registered above-average precipitation for the season, mirroring the Met Office's findings. According to their data, the UK experienced a summer that was 11% wetter than the seasonal norm. This trend was also evident within the Sencrop network, with notably abundant rainfall in Northern Ireland.

Legend: rainfall over the period June-August 2023 © Sencrop

Another notable feature of our summer? Two storms in quick succession at the end of the summer. The first, called Antoni on 5 August, then storm Betty between the 18th  and 19th of August. These very active disturbances brought wet weather to large parts of the country.

Malgré des pluies parfois copieuses et de fortes rafales de vent sur les derniers jours de l'été 2023, la saison estivale restera marquée par des températures moyennes, encore une fois, situées au-dessus des normales de saison.

How did these weather patterns impact the production ?

The hot and humid weather that dominated the UK during the summer of 2023 had significant implications for arable farming. The scorching hot June, led to increased stress on crops. While it provided ample sunlight for photosynthesis, the excessive heat could have negatively impacted crop development, especially for heat-sensitive crops like wheat and barley. Additionally, the prolonged high night-time temperatures contributed to a challenging growing environment for some crops.

The minimal rainfall in June, led to concerns about water stress and irrigation needs. Arable farmers had to closely monitor soil moisture levels and irrigation schedules to ensure that their crops received adequate water.

The return of rain in July and Augusts, brought relief from the dry conditions but also posed risks of flooding and waterlogged fields. Arable farmers needed to manage their fields effectively to prevent waterlogging and disease outbreaks in their crops. The intermittent heavy rainfall, combined with the earlier heat stress, may have influenced crop yields and quality.

Overall, the hot and humid weather of Summer 2023 challenged arable farmers to adapt their practices, manage irrigation carefully, and monitor crop health closely. It serves as a reminder of the importance of weather forecasting and data-driven decision-making in modern agriculture

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