Warm, sunny and dry October

30 10 2015

Early provisional figures (1-28 October) show sunshine and temperatures were above normal in almost all places this month while rainfall has been below average, especially in western areas.

Much of October has been relatively settled, with high pressure dominating our weather. This has led to many dry, sunny days but cold nights and even a few frosts (coldest so far -5.0 °C at Braemar on 17th).  Although the end of the month so far has been more unsettled, it has remained milder than average.

Rainfall has been below average, especially in the west of the UK, with only around 30% of average in eastern parts of Wales.  The exception to this has been a band from Cambridgeshire to North Yorkshire and around Aberdeen where rainfall has been around average (at the time these figures were compiled we would expect around 90% of the month’s total rainfall and sunshine to have happened).

1-28 October 2015 sunshine

1-28 October 2015 sunshine

1-28 October 2015 rainfall

1-28 October 2015 rainfall












Maximum temperatures (daytime) have been above normal in almost all areas for October, with north west Scotland being 2°C above, while south-east England stayed around average.  However cooler nights have led to Mean temperatures (average of daytime and night-time temperatures) over most of England and Wales being near average, but a degree or so above in parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

EARLY mean temperature sunshine duration precipitation
1-28 Oct 2015 Act Anom Act Anom Act Anom
  degC degC hours % mm %
UK 9.9 0.4 88.5 96 61.6 48
England 10.6 0.2 89.5 87 50.5 55
Wales 10.0 0.1 89.0 96 64.3 38
Scotland 8.6 0.7 85.4 113 78.4 45
N Ireland 9.8 0.4 94.7 108 64.8 54


Meanwhile Halloween starts off cloudy or foggy for many with some patchy rain across northern parts.  However this clears leaving a mild day with patchy sunshine for many in the afternoon.   Sunday, 1st November, looks much the same staying mostly dry with some sunny spells.  Check out our five day forecast for more details.

Please note that these provisional figures, especially for rainfall & sunshine, are subject to revision. Anomalies are expressed relative to the 1981-2010 averaging period.



Warm and wet, but October is no thriller

30 10 2014

Early Met Office figures up to the 28th of October show it has been a warm and rather wet month compared to average, but it’s not going to break any records.

The UK mean temperature for the month so far is 11.0C, which is 1.5C above the long-term (1981-2010) average.

Map showing the UK mean temperature for 1-28 Oct compared to the long-term (1981-2010) average.

Map showing the UK mean temperature for 1-28 Oct compared to the long-term (1981-2010) average.

While well above average, that’s well short of the record of 12.2C set in 2001 and would currently rank 11th warmest in our digitised national records dating back to 1910.

Last year’s October (11.2C), and that of 2011 (11.3C), were both warmer than this year’s early figure.

As ever there are regional variations within the UK for this year, with the far north west of the UK hardly above normal while much of England has seen mean temperatures around 2C above normal.

This October continues the theme of above average temperatures for 2014. Nine out of the ten months this year have seen above average mean temperatures, with only August having been below average.

It’s a similar story with UK rainfall in that it is wetter than average, but with no chance of breaking any records.

There has been 148.1mm of rain for the UK up to the 28th of the month, which is 116% of the long-term full-month average (you’d expect about 91% of the average after 28 days in a ‘normal’ month).

This would rank it around mid-table in the records – nowhere near the October record of 194.8mm set in 2000. While the rainfall will go up when the final few days are added, it’s not going to top that.

Again there are regional variations, with some parts of Scotland, the Isle of Man and Cumbria much wetter than average while some parts are slightly drier than average.

Sunshine hasn’t been too remarkable, with figures below average for most areas.

  Mean temp Sunshine Rainfall
1-28 Oct Deg C Diff to avg Hours % of Oct Avg Actual mm % of Oct Avg
UK 11.0 1.5 77.8 84 148.1 116
England 12.2 1.8 86.6 84 100.8 110
Wales 11.4 1.6 73.1 79 160.2 94
Scotland 9.2 1.2 62.6 83 226.7 129
N Ireland 10.3 0.9 86.7 99 124.0 104

October set for top ten warmest

1 11 2013

5 November 2013 Update – The full month figures are available in our latest blog

Early statistics for October up to the 28th of the month suggest this October is likely to be one of the warmest in records dating back to 1910.

Map showing relative warmth of October temperatures across the UK.

Map showing relative warmth of October temperatures across the UK.

The mean temperature for the UK from the 1st to the 28th is 11.6 °C, which is 2.1 °C above the long-term (1981-2010) average. It’s currently ranked joint fifth warmest in the records, but this could change once the final three days of data have been included.

Mild temperatures were experienced across all parts of the UK – with October currently being in the top ten warmest for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, it was particularly mild in Wales, with this October currently ranked as the joint warmest on record alongside 2001.

There were no autumn heat waves through October, just a persistence of mild conditions – particularly mild nights – and frost has been rare through the month.

October 2013 is also notable because it was dull and, for most places, relatively wet. Sunshine hours are currently below the long-term average, while rainfall is already above ‘normal’ levels for everywhere apart from Scotland – which is about average.

Below are figures from 1-28 October, and we’ll update on the full-month figures early next week.

Below is a table showing statistics for 1-28 October, and we’ll update with full-month statistics early next week.

Mean temp Sunshine Rainfall
October 1-28 Actual (°C) Diff to Avg Actual (hrs) % of Avg Actual (mm) % of Avg
UK 11.6 2.1 67.3 73 147.6 116
England 12.6 2.2 74.4 72 131.6 143
Wales 12.3 2.4 66.7 72 208.9 123
Scotland 9.7 1.8 52.7 70 157.9 90
N Ireland 11.2 1.8 84.1 96 145.6 122

Major Atlantic storm – wind speeds and rainfall totals

28 10 2013

The Atlantic storm which has caused disruption across parts of England and Wales this morning has now moved off into the North Sea.

We expect the most powerful winds and heavy rain associated with the storm to clear eastern areas in the next few hours, after which most parts of the UK will see a bright and breezy day with occasionally heavy, blustery showers.

The storm developed as expected just off to the south west of the UK last night, before tracking up into the Bristol Channel in the early hours of the morning.

It then tracked across the Midlands, moving off into the North Sea just to the north of East Anglia later in the morning. As the storm moved across, it brought exceptionally strong winds and heavy rain with it – causing widespread impacts.

Now the storm has cleared through, we are expecting typically unsettled autumn weather over the next couple of days – with some bright spells, mixed in with showers or longer periods of rain and breezy conditions.

This video shows the storm as it crossed the UK:

Below are some of the strongest recorded winds and heaviest total rainfall amounts:

Maximum gusts during the storm:


Highest rainfall totals from 6pm on 27 October 2013 to 8am on 28 October 2013:


UK’s unsettled weather and the jet stream

21 10 2013

The UK is set to see unsettled weather throughout this week as heavy rain and windy conditions are expected to affect many areas, whilst temperatures will remain mild for the time of year.

We talk about the jet stream quite a bit in the UK because it has such a big influence on our weather, and this week is no exception as it’s playing a leading role in determining the unsettled outlook.

What is the jet stream?

The jet stream is a band of fast moving westerly winds high up in the atmosphere which circle around the pole in the northern hemisphere. It can feature winds of up to 200 knots (230 mph) or more, and these winds tend to guide wet and windy weather systems which come in off the Atlantic.

The jet moves around a fair bit and its position can have a big impact on weather here in the UK depending on where it is.

If the Jet is over the UK or just to the south, we tend to get a lot of wet and windy conditions as it brings weather systems straight to us. If the jet is to the north of us, it guides that changeable weather away to the north to leave the UK with more settled conditions.

What’s the jet stream doing now?

Unsurprisingly given the outlook for this week, the jet is positioned more or less directly over the UK – but it’s the detail of its track which is important.

As you can see from the picture below, the jet currently swoops south from western Canada – moving over the Atlantic before taking a sharp turn north to head over the UK.

Forecast chart showing  expected position of the jet stream at 1pm on Tuesday 22 October

Forecast chart showing expected position of the jet stream at 1pm on Tuesday 22 October

This means relatively cool air is being dragged south then over the Atlantic, where warmer seas heat the air from below. This causes the air to warm and rise – creating instability and generating cloud and rain.

By the time weather systems reach they UK they have picked up a lot of rain and relatively warm air, bringing us the wet but mild conditions we are currently seeing.

What’s the weather outlook?

Currently unsettled weather looks set to impact the UK through the week, with heavy rain affecting many areas at times.

There may be more settled conditions on Thursday, and perhaps again on Saturday, but looking further ahead into the start of next week the outlook is for unsettled weather to continue.

You can stay up to date with what to expect with our detailed forecasts out to 5-days and our weather warnings, as well as a general view of what we expect out to 30 days.

You can find out more about the jet stream in our YouTube video.

October weather summary

14 11 2012

October was a typical autumnal month with a mixture of showers and rain and a couple of short settled spells. In our video forecaster Charlie explains the weather that characterised October. We’ve also included your photos of October weather that you sent in via Twitter and Facebook.

You can read our full October weather overview, including temperature extremes and weather impacts, on our website.

Your October weather images

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you would like your image to feature in our November video or slideshow, add your picture to our wall on Facebook or tweet it to us @metoffice. Let us know where you took it and what day it was.

October coldest since 2003

2 11 2012

Provisional figures from our National Climate Information Centre have shown that this October has been a fairly unremarkable month in terms of weather for the UK.

Temperature, rainfall and sunshine have all been fairly close to the average and there’s certainly nothing record breaking about the general figures.

With a mean temperature for the UK of 8.2 °C for the month, it’s on the colder side of average and the coldest October since 2003 – which was the same temperature.

To find a colder month, you have to go back to 1993, which had a mean temperature of 7.3 °C.

In the records dating back to 1910, this October is ranked joint 18th alongside 2003, 1955 and 1931. Just for the record, the coldest on record was set in 1917, with a much colder 6.6 °C.

For rainfall, the 128.0 mm of rain that fell across the UK during the month is very close to the 1981-2010 average of 127.1 mm – so this October was very ‘normal’ in that respect.

Sunshine is similarly close to the norm, with 92.8 hours of sunshine virtually spot-on with the 1981-2010 average of 92.5 hours.

As ever, there are some regional variations within the national picture, illustrated with these maps:

With regards to temperature, most parts of the country were cooler than average but parts of Scotland saw slightly colder conditions than anywhere else when compared to the regional average.

While rainfall was average for the UK overall, some parts of southern and eastern Britain were considerably wetter than their regional average but it was a somewhat drier than average month across parts of the west and north – particularly western Scotland.

Sunshine also saw regional variation. Parts of the south-east were notably dull – here it was provisionally the dullest October since 1982. The northern half of the UK, and particularly western Scotland, was somewhat sunnier than average.

Here’s a roundup of Met Office observation station extremes for the month:

• Highest temperature: 18.8 °C at Holbeach, Linconshire on 1st

• Lowest temperature: -7.8 °C at Braemar, Aberdeenshire on 17th

• Wettest day (0000 hrs-0000 hrs): 61.4 mm at Ballpatrick, Antrim on the 18th

• Sunniest day: 10.4 hours of sunshine at St Athan, Glamorgan on the 6th

• Strongest gust of wind: 78 mph at the Needles, Isle of Wight on the 5th


October so far

27 10 2011

This October looks set to be one of the warmest on record in the UK, according to provisional Met Office climate figures.

Using figures from 1-25 October, so far parts of the country have seen temperatures up to 3.1 °C warmer than the 10.2 °C long-term average for the month.

The UK average temperature for this October is currently 11.5 °C, making it the seventh warmest in records which go back to 1910. This compares to the 2001 record which saw an average temperature of 12.2 °C.

There are still five days to go before the end of the month, but temperatures are expected to continue to be relatively mild through to the start of November.

The month started with exceptionally warm temperatures for the time of year. Gravesend in Kentsaw 29.9 °C on 1 October, a new record for the UK and England specifically. Wales also broke its October temperature record on the same day, with Hawarden in Flintshire registering 28.2 °C.

Since then, despite a few periods of cooler weather, the majority of the month has seen mild day and night-time temperatures.

The month has also seen some marked variations in rainfall. England and Wales have, so far, had just over half of their usual monthly rainfall. Northern Ireland, however, has had 163% of its usual monthly total.

Sunshine amounts are also similarly marked across the UK. England has just already hit its monthly average total, whereas Northern Ireland currently has received only 34% of its usual amount.


Average temperature for October

Average rainfall for October

Actual (°C)

Difference from 1971 to 2000 average (°C) 

Actual (mm)

Percentage of 1971 to 2000 average

UK 11.5 °C  2.1 °C  97.6mm 83%
England  12.7 °C  2.2 °C 46.9mm 56%
Northern Ireland  10.8 °C  1.8 °C  187.2mm 163%
Scotland  9.5 °C  1.9 °C  169.6mm 104%
Wales  12.2 °C  2.7 °C  82.5mm 54%

New record temperature for October in the UK

1 10 2011

The UK has a new record temperature for the month of October.

Provisionally, the highest temperature of the day was 29.9 °C, recorded at Gravesend in Kent.

This beats the previous record of 29.4 °C recorded at March in Cambridgeshire, which has stood since 1 October 1985.

Wales also has a new national record, 28.2 °C was recorded at Hawarden in Flintshire. The previous record was 26.4 °C recorded at Ruthin, Denbighshire, again on 1 October 1985.

These new records come at the end of an increasingly hot week across many parts of the UK and we may well see record breaking temperatures in some areas again on Sunday.

Met Office in the Media: 27 Oct 2010

27 10 2010

Over recent days there has been a great deal of coverage regarding the chilly conditions across parts of Britain.  The Daily Telegraph, reports that Frozen Britain braves coldest October night for 17 years. Many parts of northern Britain had a very cold night overnight Sunday into Monday with Levens Hall, Cumbria, seeing an overnight low of -6.6C, the coldest for 17 years. Other cold places included Trawsgoed in Wales and West Freugh in Scotland.  The cold snap has been relatively short lived as winds have now turned more west or southwesterly again bringing milder conditions across the UK.

The Sunday Times has reported on NASA GISS data showing that Oct 2009 to September 2010 was the warmest 12 month period on record since records began. The article also reported that data from the Met Office, where we compile global temperature data in a different way, would confirm that the same period would “probably the first or second hottest on record”.


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