A period of unseasonably warm, settled weather in late September and early October brought sunshine and temperatures of up 29.9 °C to many parts of the UK. Accurate forecasting by the Met Office allowed businesses and organisations to plan accordingly so the nation could enjoy the warm spell.
On 23 September, the Met Office forecast that many parts of the UK would see fine weather for the last few days of September and into the beginning of October for England and Wales. Chris Tubbs, Met Office Chief Forecaster said: "temperatures could be unseasonably warm in places, certainly well above average for the time of year."
The forecast for warm weather was widely communicated across national media - making front page news - and on the Met Office website plus our Facebookand Twitteraccounts. We also released a YouTube video explaining the forecast and the reasons behind the warm spell.
|27 September||As forecast, mist and low cloud gradually cleared away and much of the UK saw clear skies and sunshine during the day.|
|28 September||The majority of the UK saw warm weather and sunshine with temperatures reaching 26 °C, in line with the forecast from the Met Office.|
|29 September||With the exception of Scotland and Northern Ireland as expected, the settled weather continued and temperatures exceed 27 °C.|
|30 September||Again, it was unseasonably warm with unbroken sunshine for much of England and Wales as forecast. Temperatures up to 29.2 °C.|
|1 October||The hot spell continued and temperatures exceed the current October record, reaching 29.9 °C at Gravesend in Kent.|
|2 October||England and Wales continued to experience settled weather, with temperatures again reaching 29 °C in some areas.|
The end of the hot, sunny spell was also well forecast.
The change to more normal autumnal weather, with rain and cooler temperatures across Northern Ireland and Northern Scotland was accurately forecast to arrive on Friday 30 September.
The Atlantic weather front introducing this cooler weather pushed slowly south and east through the weekend and into the start of the following week. As forecast this brought the return of cloudier skies to southern England by Tuesday 4 October and temperatures some 10 °C cooler than just a few days earlier.
Previous maximum temperature
New maximum temperature (provisional)
|October (UK)||29.4 °C March, Cambridgeshire 1985||29.9 °C Gravesend, Kent 2011|
|October (Wales)||26.4 °C Ruthin, Denbighshire 1985||28.2 °C Harwarden, Flintshire 2011|
|29 September||27.8 °C York 1895||28.8 °C Kew Gardens 2011|
|30 September||27.8 °C Maidenhead, Berkshire 1908||29.2 °C Sutton Bonnington, Notts, and Cambridge 2011|
|1 October||29.4 °C March, Cambridgeshire 1985||29.9 °C Gravesend, Kent 2011|
|2 October||28.1 °C Whitby, North Yorkshire 1908||29.3 °C Coningsby, 2011|
Last updated: 6 October 2011