The UK has experienced the warmest first nine months of the year on record, according to early provisional figures from the Met Office.
The period from January to September 2022 saw a mean temperature of 10.9C, beating the previous all-time high of 10.6C set in 2014.
September has also continued this year’s uninterrupted run of each month being warmer than usual, with a mean temperature across the UK of 13.5C, 0.6C above the long-term average.
A sequence of heatwaves in July and August led to some of the hottest temperatures ever endured in the UK, with a new high of 40.3C reached on July 19 at Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
England saw the driest July since 1935 and the joint warmest summer on record.
But it is too soon to say whether 2022 will end up being the warmest year since records began in 1884, as cooler weather between now and the end of December could bring down the overall annual temperature.
Dr Mark McCarthy of the National Climate Information Centre said: “Despite the recent cool spell, September continues 2022’s run of each month being warmer than their respective long-term averages.
“According to mean temperature, it has been the warmest year so far up to this point, with an average mean temperature of 10.9C topping 2014’s figure of 10.6C for the January-September period.
“2014 went on to be the UK’s warmest year on record – 2022 is on track to be one of the warmest years on record if the warmer-than-average conditions persist, but we cannot rule out a period of below average temperatures during the coming months that would bring it below 2014’s mean temperature for the calendar year.”
September has seen an “Atlantic influence” bring more unsettled weather to the country, with northern winds leading to a fall in temperature in recent days.
“It has also been slightly duller than average based on sunshine statistics, with Wales particularly dull this month, although not enough to trouble any records,” Dr McCarthy added.
The Met Office will publish full provisional figures for September’s weather on October 3.