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A look back at June 2019's heat and rain. UK flooding and European temperature records broken.
Blog by Jo Farrow
2nd July 2019 19:39

A look back at June 2019's heat and rain. UK flooding and European temperature records broken.

Even with that late burst of heat, there weren't any record-breaking temperatures for the UK this June. Several European countries did see new record highs. Heat and humidity pumped right up from North Africa, across Iberia and France, warming up further in the clear, sunny skies. The UK managed to escape the most extreme heat thanks to an easterly wind off the North Sea, which is still relatively cool at this time of year. Even so, a top June temperature of 34.0 °C at Heathrow and Northolt occurred on Saturday 29 June. Not far off the all-time June record of 35.6C. Without that undercut of less hot air, the record would have fallen in the stifling air from the south.

There was also all that rain, with eastern Britain being particularly hard hit by persistent rain and thunderstorms. This led to major flooding in Lincolnshire and flash flood events in SE England, Cardiff, Stirling and Edinburgh. Also river flooding for more of Scotland, Wales, the Midlands and many other areas being affected by surface water flooding. June certainly presented some extreme weather.

"In all, around 5.2 million properties in England, or one in six properties, are at risk of flooding. More than 5 million people live and work in 2.4 million properties that are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea." Environment Agency National Assessment of Flood Risk England 2009

Sink holes appeared in the M25 and flood recovery support is still in place as people in Wainfleet, Lincs. continue to restore their homes and businesses. When the rain came it was torrential. 177mm of rain for Wainfleet with 74.6mm falling in one day, on the 10th June. Holbeach and Cranwell in eastern England also beat rainfall records in the same mid-month event. 

Flintshire in North Wales was the wettest county when compared with average and it was the second wettest June since 1910 for the county resulting in disruption from flooding.

June 2019 monthly rainfall amounts

However even with the heat at the end of the month overall June 2019 was very average, temperature wise. The far east of East Anglia was slighlty warmer than average but for most of the UK, after a rather cool start to the month, nothing remarkable overall. 

Met Office June 2019 temperature chart



Europe was stiflingly hot. Records fell in France, Switzerland, Poland and Czech Republic

“Data released 2nd July shows that the European-average temperature for June 2019 was higher than for any other June on record. Average temperatures were more than 2°C above normal and it has become the hottest June ever recorded.” Copernicus

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End of June Europe temperature map

ECMWF also shows that the global average temperature for June 2019 was also the highest on record for the month.

In France, 13 locations broke the old temperature record. Heatwave in France is widely known as #canicule, relating to La Canicule, dog star, the Canis Majoris constellation which appears in late July and August. 

This was a new all-time record of 45.9C for France, not just June record. The really hot Saharan air was incredible. All-time records usually occur in early August, or maybe late July. Our UK all-time top temperature of 38.5C occurred on August 10th 2003, June is bizarre. 

Jean-Noël Thépaut, Head of Copernicus Climate Change Service, comments: “Although this was exceptional, we are likely to see more of these events in the future due to climate change."

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