The mild autumn has kept 2022 on track to be the UK’s hottest year on record, the Met Office has said.
The UK would need a December of near-record cold weather to stop this year ending up as the warmest in records going back to 1884, the meteorologists said.
Provisional figures show autumn 2022 – September, October and November – was the third warmest on record for the UK, with an average temperature of 11.1C which is topped only by 2011 and 2006 in the record.
November has continued 2022’s run of every month being warmer than average, and the first 11 months of the year are the hottest on record for the UK.
Mike Kendon of the National Climate Information Centre said: “Although it’s too early to guarantee that 2022 will be the UK’s warmest year, the first 11 months have set up the distinct possibility of a record-breaking warm year, with only a very cold December able to potentially influence where the year will eventually sit in the record books.
“All of the top 10 warmest years on record for the UK have occurred since 2002; a clear indicator of our warming climate.
“Human-induced climate change has increased the likelihood of extreme heat as we saw in July this year, but this year has also seen persistent warmth resulting in the year overall challenging the record previously set in 2014.”
Rainfall for the season was also well above average for many areas, including southern England, much of which had been in drought status by the end of summer.
The UK as a whole had 402.5mm (15.8 inches) of rain in autumn, 19% more than average, while Northern Ireland saw more than a third more than would normally be expected – seeing 433.4 mm fall during the season (17 inches).
The south of England saw 301.9mm of rain, some 28% above the average, though the year so far continues to be drier than average, especially in southern areas.
November was the third warmest on record for the UK, with some “exceptionally mild weather” due to a south westerly flow of tropical maritime air, and some very mild nights with new records set in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The month also saw a lot of wet weather, especially in the far south east of England and eastern Scotland, with Aberdeenshire seeing 150% of the normal monthly rainfall in just five days, causing some flooding, the Met Office said.
The UK saw 159.8mm (6.3 inches) of rain, some 30% more than average, the experts said, while sunshine levels were close to normal.