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It is official! Summer 2013 was the hottest since 2006
9:00am Sunday 1st September 2013 in Cornwall
Met Office statistics for this summer show that this year has seen the warmest, driest and sunniest summer since 2006.
However, it's not a record breaker, despite the prolonged heat wave experienced across the UK in July.
The early figures take observations from 1 June to 28 August, then assume average conditions for the final three days of the season - so the full-season figures could see some changes once all the information for August is available.
Using the estimates, the UK mean temperature for the summer is 15.2 °C, which is 0.8 °C above the average (all averages refer to 1981-2010 long-term average). It's likely this summer will finish around eighth to tenth warmest in the national record dating back to 1910.
In terms of rainfall, the estimate suggests about 189 mm of rain - which is 78 per cent of the UK average, making this the driest summer since 2006 and ranking about 16th driest in the records dating back to 1910. Sunshine is also above average for the UK, with 588 hours amounting to about 117 per cent of the UK average. This ranks it at seventh sunniest in the records going back to 1929.
While this summer is warmer, drier and sunnier than the long-term average, it hasn't been exceptional. It stands out because the last six summers have been wetter than average, with 2012 and 2007 both being in the top five wettest, and 2008 and 2009 also in the top ten wettest in records from 1910.
This summer also contrasts with the rather cool summers of 2011 and 2012.
The most notable weather of the summer was the prolonged heat wave in July, which was the most significant since July 2006. This year's heat wave was more notable for its duration than the actual temperatures recorded.
Fine and sunny weather wasn't confined to July, though, we also saw spells of warm and settled weather in June and August - with the highest temperature of the year, 34.1 °C recorded on 1 August at Heathrow - the highest UK temperature since July 2006.
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