Mild October with interludes of rain

More than half of the UK’s ten warmest Octobers on record have occurred since the year 2000, as October 2022 continues this year’s theme of being warmer than average.  

The seventh warmest October on record.

Year so far is warmest on record. 

October's rain makes little dent in year's dryness.

According to provisional Met Office statistics, the average mean temperature for October 2022 was 11.5°C, with a particularly warm conclusion helping the month to become the seventh warmest October in a series which goes back to 1884.

The statistics mean that six of the ten warmest Octobers on record for the UK have occurred since the turn of the century, as the influence of human-induced climate change can be seen across long-term recorded data.

In addition, average maximum and minimum temperatures for the UK for October were well above average and entered at equal-sixth and equal-fifth in their respective records.  

Average maximum temperatures were particularly high across central southern England and East Anglia. England had its equal-fourth warmest October on record, with 12.6°C. Wales had its equal-fifth warmest October by the same measurement with 12.0°C, while Scotland had its equal-eighth warmest, with 9.7°C.  

October 2022 map of the UK's mean temperature. The map shows the UK all had a warmer than average month.
October 2022 mean temperature map

Michael Kendon, of the National Climate Information Centre, said: “October was already proving to be a warm month but there were some very mild conditions late in the month with 22.9°C at Kew Gardens on 29 October. 

“The position of the jet stream late in the month helped shift temperature up, as a southwesterly airflow invited warm air over Europe on to UK shores. It should also be noted that France and Spain also recorded temperatures well above their average for the time of year, which was partly responsible for the warmth of the air we were bringing in late in the month. 

“What has been particularly unusual about this October is the persistent above average temperatures – particularly across the southern half of the UK. Maximum temperatures have been above average on every day of the month – always reaching the mid-teens.” 

The mild October continues 2022’s run of every month so far this year being warmer than average. The first ten months of 2022 are the warmest on record, tracking ahead of 2014’s warmest year on record for the UK. Temperature statistics will continue to be monitored particularly closely through November and December.  

Near-average rain for many, but still a dry year

Slightly above average rainfall for the UK in October did little to impact the dry year so far for some regions.  

In 2022 so far, East Anglia has seen just 52% (328mm) of its average rainfall for the whole year. You’d expect this percentage to be at 83% at the conclusion of October. This means counties including Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent and East Sussex have received only around half their annual rainfall, in some places less, with only two months of the year to go.  

At the conclusion of October, you’d expect rainfall amounts to be at 83% of their long-term average for the complete year. For the UK, it’s currently at 67% (780mm), but for England it’s at only 60% (523mm), and also at only 60% for Wales (881mm). 

October’s rain itself was slightly above average for the UK, with Northern Ireland exceeding its long-term average rainfall by more than 50%. The UK’s figure of 141mm was 15% more than average. More granular figures were fairly unremarkable, though Northern Ireland’s 176mm was 54% more than its average, while Scotland had 16% more rainfall than average, with 196mm falling.  

October 2022 rainfall. The map shows near average rainfall for most, with Northern Ireland seeing the most in the way of rain versus its average.
October 2022 rainfall map

Despite the near-average rain in October, this year continues to be much drier than average, especially in the south.  

The Senior Director of Policy, Research and Campaigns at the Consumer Council for Water Mike Keil said: “There’s still a lot of rainfall needed to replenish our water resources after the incredibly hot and dry summer. Saving water is always a good thing to do, whatever the weather – it helps people save money, protects the environment and reduces carbon emissions.” 

Sunny October for most

October was sunny for most, although Scotland and Northern Ireland were slightly duller than average.

October 2022 sunshine map of the UK. The map shows a sunnier than average month for most, except the west of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
October 2022 sunshine duration map

The UK saw 14% more sunshine than average, with 105 hours of sunshine in the month.  

England had 129 hours of sunshine (26% more than average), Wales 104 hours (14% more than average). Conversely, Scotland had 69 hours of sunshine (7% less than average) and Northern Ireland 73 hours (14% less than average).  

Provisional October 2022Mean temp (°C) Sunshine (hours) Rainfall (mm) 
 Actual Diff from avg (°C)Actual% of avgActual% of avg
UK 11.5 1.8 104.6114  141.4 115
England 12.6 2.0 129.0126 99.6 110
Wales 12.0 1.9 104.2114 175.4 111
Scotland 9.7 1.5 69.393 195.8 116
N Ireland 11.0 1.4 73.286 175.9 154
Provisional weather and climate statistics for October 2022.
Graphs showing above average temperatures over the last 12 months, below average rainfall, and generally above average levels of sunshine.
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