Average daily sun hours in the United Kingdom (UK) 2001-2018

Since 2001 there has been little change in the average number of daily sun hours in the UK. In 2018 an average of 4.7 daily sun hours was recorded, which was the second highest since 2001. The lowest number of daily sun hours in the period of consideration occurred in 2011, at just four. The deviation from the 10-year average daily sun hours has fluctuated during this period. The most noticeable negative deviation occurred in 2012, at 0.4 hours.

Summer sun

Unsurprisingly it is the Spring/Summer months that receive the longest durations of daily sun hours. The longest duration was recorded in 2010, when the average daily sun hours in the second quarter reached 7.2 hours. In 2018, the second and third quarters of the year had an average of 6.8 and 6.5 daily sun hours respectively. In comparison, the first and fourth quarters of the same year had just 2.8 hours of sunshine on an average day.

Historical sunshine

  In 1930 the average annual sunshine hours amounted to 1,309.5 hours. Sunlight has traditionally been recorded using a Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder, which was developed in the late 19th century. However, measurements from this instrument can overestimate sunshine duration. Whilst still often used at non automated climate stations, more accurate modern sunshine sensors are in use these days at automated stations.

Average annual number of daily sun hours in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2001 to 2018

Hours of sunlight per day
2018*4.7
20174.1
20164.2
20154.4
20144.5
20134.3
20124
20114.3
20104.3
20094.4
20084.2
20074.4
20064.5
20054.3
20044.2
20034.9
20024.1
20014.4
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Source

Release date

March 2019

Region

United Kingdom

Survey time period

2001 to 2018

Special properties

weighted by location of UK solar PV resources

Supplementary notes

*Provisional

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