LAST month was the hottest June on record, according to the Met Office.
Figures released today (Monday) show the average mean temperature in the UK in June was 15.8C – the highest since 1884, when records began – eclipsing the previous record by 0.9C.
The Met Office said the data bore the ‘fingerprint of climate change’.
Paul Davies, Met Office climate extremes principal fellow and chief meteorologist, said: “We found that the chance of observing a June beating the previous joint 1940/1976 record of 14.9C has at least doubled since the 1940s.
“Alongside natural variability, the background warming of the Earth’s atmosphere due to human-induced climate change has driven up the possibility of reaching record high temperatures.
“Using our UKCP18 climate projections, we can also see that there is a difference in the frequency of these sort of extremes depending on the emissions scenario we follow in the future.
“By the 2050s, the chance of surpassing the previous record of 14.9C could be as high as around 50%, or every other year.
“Beyond the 2050s, the likelihood is strongly governed by our emissions of greenhouse gasses, with the chance increasing further in a high emissions scenario but levelling off under mitigation.”
The mean average of 15.8C is 2.5C higher than average and saw revellers at events such as the Glastonbury Festival struggle in sweltering heat.
Mark McCarthy, who works in the team responsible for weather and climate records at the Met Office, said: “It’s officially the hottest June on record for the UK, for mean temperature as well as average maximum and minimum temperature.
“June started with a good deal of high pressure and temperatures initially around average for many, but once that subsided, warm, humid air began to influence temperatures, with 32.2C the highest temperatures reached.
“What’s striking is the persistent warmth for much of the month, with temperatures widely into the mid 20s Celsius for many and even into the low 30s at times.”
Eight of the 12 calendar months now have an average temperature record set since 2006 in a series which dates back to 1884, he added.
Somerset was among the counties that recorded their warmest June on record, along with the likes of Orkney, Warwickshire, Surrey and Cornwall.
Rainfall too was down, with the UK having 68% of its June average, with 52.2mm falling.