It’s safe to say that the UK experienced all four seasons in 2022.
A turbulent start to the year gave way to record high temperatures – followed by floods and freezing temperatures.
In January, Malik – the first named storm of the year – hit northern parts of the UK, with winds of over 100mph in parts of Scotland and widespread disruption to travel and power supplies.
Three other storms – Dudley, Eunice and Franklin – were named in one week in February, with two red weather warnings and some of the highest wind speeds recorded in more than 30 years.
Dudley and Eunice were named on February 14 – the first time two storms were named simultaneously.
Exposed coastal sites were blown away by winds of 81 mph, while a gust of 122 mph was recorded on the Isle of Wight, setting an English record.
The stormy season passed quickly, however, and the joy of spring came soon after.
In April, the UK was warmer than California with 23°C and the mercury continued to rise.
Though disrupted by thunderstorms and lightning strikes, thermometers continued to measure history.
On July 19, the Met Office confirmed a new UK temperature record of 40.3°C at Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
Records were also broken in Wales – 37.1°C at Hawarden Airport in Flintshire on July 18 – and Scotland – 34.8°C at Charterhall on July 19.
There was no break in the night, and Britain experienced its warmest night on record as extreme heat continued into the mid-1920s.
Scientists have warned that the extreme heat was driven by climate change, which is making any heatwave more intense, more frequent and more likely.
Rail services were severely disrupted, with no services to or from London King’s Cross, no Thameslink or Great Northern trains north of London, and only very limited services on the East Midlands Railway.
There were also very limited and disrupted services to and from London Euston, on Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway and London Marylebone on Chiltern Railways, and temporary speed restrictions amid the risk of rail buckling.
Fire crews battled hundreds of fires across the country as fields and meadows turned into a “powder box”.
One regional service said the number of open fires had tripled in a week, while the Met Office warned that much of England was at extreme risk.
Some people have been forced to evacuate their homes, with the National Trust admitting they are on “pin hooks” over the possibility of a large-scale fire.
A resident of the village where the flames swept through Britain’s hottest day said it was “like a Blitz scene” after around 19 homes were destroyed.
Villagers in Wennington, Greater London, have been left to fend for themselves after the fires, first seen in the back gardens, quickly swept through rows of houses.
Residents said the entire street was engulfed in flames in one area, and neighbors had gathered to seek shelter at a local church.
The heat gave way to torrential downpours and more typical British weather, with parts of London receiving more than half a month of rain in just one night.
Memories of the hot summer seemed far away as in the fall there were warnings of gas shortages, power outages and falling mercury concentrations.
Arctic weather in December, accompanied by winter downpours and “freezing fog”, prompted severe weather alerts as the mercury plunged to minus 9 degrees Celsius in the South Oxfordshire village of Benson.
This came after forecasters said the last month of the year would have to be near-record cold to avoid the hottest year on record in Britain in 2022.
Preliminary Met Office data showed that the fall of 2022 – September, October and November – was the third warmest on record, with an average temperature of 11.1°C, surpassed only by autumn figures from 2011 and 2006, in a series stretching back to 1884 r.