Annual Weather Summary - 2023


Photo 1: Blenheim Palace in Late Autumn Sunshine

The UK Met Office has published its weather summary for 2023 here. If I were to describe 2023 in just three words, they would be warm, wet, and stormy. The UK maps, produced by the Met Office, showing the annual summaries for mean temperature anomalies (Figure 1), rainfall amounts (Figure 2) and sunshine duration (Figure 3) are presented below (with the County of Herefordshire circled).

Above average temperatures ...

Figure 1: Map of UK Annual Mean Temperature Anomalies

Above average rainfall ...

Figure 2: Map of Annual UK Rainfall

About average sunshine ...

Figure 3: Map of Annual UK Sunshine Hours

This year (2023) was the second warmest in the UK record (since 1884); it followed the warmest year ever in 2022. Figure 4 compares the monthly and annual mean temperatures for the past 4 years, as recorded by my Davis Weather Station. Here we can see that, in Hereford, June, September and December were very warm in 2023.
Figure 4: Monthly and Annual Temperature Averages (2020 - 2023)

Annual temperatures (mean) for Hereford were 12 ℃, 11 ℃, 12 ℃ and 12 ℃ respectively from 2020 to 2023. These are warmer than the mean annual temperatures for the CET and the UK (Table 1 & Figure 5).

Table 1: Mean Annual Temperatures for the UK, CET and Hereford (2020 - 2023)
UK Annual9.629.2810.039.97
CET Annual10.810.311.1511.1
Hereford Annual12111212

Figure 5: Mean Annual Temperatures for the UK, CET and Hereford (2020 - 2023)

 [Note: the temperature data is rounded down to the nearest integer for Hereford, a single amateur weather station. Where multiple professional weather stations are recording temperatures, more precise temperatures (to one or two decimal places) are possible through statistical averaging]

That the CET region is warmer than the UK is a simple matter of geography - the former doesn't include those chilly bits like Scotland. That the city of Hereford is warmer than the CET area may be down to the Urban Heat Island effect although one cannot discount possible biases in the thermometers.

Monthly (Figure 6) and annual (Figure 7) rainfall in millimetres (mm) for Hereford are presented below. 

Figure 6: Monthly Rainfall (mm) for Hereford covering 2020 to 2023

The nearby Credenhill weather station (operated by the Met Office) reports a 1991-2020 average annual rainfall of 695.5 mm. The annual rainfall for Hereford in 2023 was lower (539.8 mm) despite the UK map (Figure 2) indicating higher than normal levels. I have noticed that my rainfall amounts tend to be lower than those of the surrounding areas - presumably because my garden and/or weather station is situated in a local rain shadow.

Figure 7: Monthly Rainfall (mm) for Hereford covering 2020 to 2023

Daily sunshine hours (measured as average daily solar radiation) in Hereford for 2023 are presented in Figure 8. Monthly sunshine hours  (Hereford, 2020 - 2023) are summarised in Figure 9. May and June were the sunniest months of 2023.

Figure 8: Daily Sunshine Hours (Hereford) - 2023
Figure 9: Monthly Sunshine Hours (Hereford) for the 2020 - 2023 Period

According to Figure 3, sunshine hours were close to or slightly below the 1991-2020 mean in Herefordshire in 2023.  Annual Met Office reports show the same trend in sunshine hours for Herefordshire (2020 > 2021 ~ 2022 > 2023) as the results from my Davis Weather Station.

Figure 10: Annual Sunshine Hours (Hereford) for the 2020 - 2023 Period

The reported number of annual sunshine hours are very similar to those reported by the Met Office for the Midlands region (1485 sunshine hours).

Goodbye 2023!!


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