The automatic one-liner headline for June 2017 generated by my UK climate application for the whole of the UK read “very warm, wet and dull” which was a bit unfair on the month, because there was a good spread of rainfall, sunshine and temperature across the country that hid many of the regional and sub-regional variations that went on. Rainfall in June was a good example of that, even if you drilled down to the regional level all regions across the UK were wetter than average, but if you look at the contoured rainfall amounts in the anomaly map on the extreme left, there were parts of the Midlands, East Anglia and southern England that saw only 50-75% of the average rainfall during June. As is always the case when the gridded values that fall within any region are totalled and averaged, the month ended up above normal, because the wetter areas within the region outweighed the drier areas, this is always the case, and the same thing occurred with regards to sunshine and temperature in June as well. That’s why it’s always very useful when viewing regional climate anomalies in a table or in a chart, to also view the regional values in a map at the same time, and why I like to produce this infographic with maps courtesy of the Met Office!
What an interesting topsy-turvy kind of month January 2017 was, very anticyclonic, in fact the 10th most anticyclonic since 1871, with above average temperatures in the north, but colder in the southeast. It was drier than average in the north and west, but closer to average the further southeast that you were. Sunshine was above average in the northeast and the south, but duller in a band across central England, North Wales and Northern Ireland. The satellite images for the month show how stubborn low cloud was the main culprit for how dull it was across central areas, and how clear it was for many days across the southeast which saw 6 more days of air frost than an average January.