The averaging period used for the following assessment was 1971–2000.
The first few days were unsettled over most of the UK with copious amounts of rainfall, but pressure then built from the east to give more settled weather and some warm days. For about 10 days from mid-month it was then colder with northerly winds and some very low overnight temperatures. In the last week, frontal systems from the west resumed their influence bringing much milder air and rain at times. Overall, temperatures were close to normal. Rainfall was also close to normal in many areas, but it was drier than average in the west. It was a sunny month, especially in the west. It was the equal-sunniest October on record in Wales (shared with October 1994).
A maximum temperature of 23.1 °C was recorded at Chivenor (Devon) on 8th. Levens Hall (Cumbria) and Sennybridge (Powys) both had minimum temperatures of -6.6 °C early on 25th. Alltdearg House (near Sligachan, Isle of Skye) recorded 105.0 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours ending 0900 on 29th. A wind gust of 72 mph was measured at Capel Curig (Conwy) on 29th.
England diary of highlights
Some warm days and chilly nights, but with spells of rain early and late in the month. Overall monthly statistics for temperature and rainfall are close to normal, but there were extremes of temperature around 8th-10th (warm days) and 24th-25th (cold nights). Much of the rainfall fell on only a few days during the month. Sunshine amounts were above normal towards the west.
- 1st to 6th:
- The first days were unsettled, generally mild, but with wind and rain at times. Rain spread eastwards on the 1st, clearing on the 2nd, but with further rain spreading north-east during the 3rd. This cloud and rain lingered in the south-east into the 4th. More wind and rain spread eastwards across all parts during the 5th, with sunshine and showers on the 6th. Arlington (East Sussex) recorded 40.3 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours to 0900 on 2nd. On the other hand it was quite warm during this period, with temperatures reaching 19.4 °C at Hurn (Dorset) on the 4th, and 19.1 °C at St James’s Park, London on the 6th.
- 7th to 16th:
- During this period pressure rose resulting in a long spell of settled, mostly dry weather. Cloud amounts and temperatures varied from day to day, though for the most part the days became quite warm and very pleasant, especially early on in the period. Where skies became clear and the winds fell light it turned quite cold by night, with patchy mist and fog forming. Chivenor (Devon) had a maximum temperature of 23.1 °C on the 8th, and 22.5 °C was attained at Lee-on-Solent (Hampshire) on the 10th. Some low overnight minima included -2.5 °C at Shap (Cumbria) in the early hours of 13th. On the morning of the 17th, Benson (Oxfordshire) dropped to -3.5 °C.
- 17th to 21st:
- A colder northerly flow developed. Although several bands of rain or showers moved south and east across England during this period, rainfall amounts were generally small and there was a good deal of dry, bright weather. Daytime temperatures returned close to the average for mid-October, but it was cold at night with a touch of frost on the mornings of the 20th and 21st. St Mary’s (Scilly) rose to 14.1 °C on the 19th but generally temperatures were lower than this through the period.
- 22nd to 23rd:
- Some quite unsettled conditions spread in during these two days, the south especially wet and windy. Walney Island (Cumbria) recorded 61.8 mm in the 24-hour period ending 0900 on 23rd, with 28.8 mm at Shap. There were reports of a tornado near Hastings (Sussex) on 23rd.
- 24th to 25th:
- Clearing skies followed from the north, and light winds led to two very cold nights. Temperatures in the early hours of 24th dipped to -2.9 °C at Woodford (Cheshire) and -2.8 °C at Benson. On 25th, lows were down below -4 °C in a number of locations towards the west, with the coldest value -6.6 °C at Levens Hall (Cumbria).
- 26th to 31st:
- The month ended as it began with unsettled conditions returning from the west. It was generally wet and windy, but also mild. Some quite heavy rain crossed south and south-east England on the 29th.
Wales diary of highlights
There were some warm days and some chilly nights, with heavy rain early and late in the month. Overall monthly values for temperature are close to normal, but there were extremes of temperature around 8th-10th (warm days) and 24th-25th (cold nights). Much of the rain fell on only a few days during the month, and totals were somewhat below the long-term average. It was a sunny month, giving Wales its equal sunniest October in a series since 1929 with 130% of average.
- 1st to 6th:
- An unsettled few days with wet and windy conditions heralding the start of the month as bands of rain moved slowly east during the 1st. Drier and brighter on the 2nd, although there were showers, especially over the north-west where some became heavy. A further spell of rain moved north-east on the 3rd with a brief drier interlude before further bands of rain or showers swept across from the west.
- 7th to 17th:
- During this period pressure rose resulting in a settled, mostly dry spell. Cloud amounts and temperatures varied from day to day, though for the most part the days became pleasantly warm; Valley (Anglesey) reached 23.0 °C on 8th. Where skies became clear at night and the winds fell light it turned quite cold with patchy mist and fog forming. The night of the 6th was rather cold, but the following few nights under cloudy skies with a steady breeze were much milder. A few showers spread south later on the 15th, and although the 16th and most of the 17th remained dry, rain arrived in the north during the evening of the 17th, spreading south during the early hours of the 18th.
- 18th to 21st:
- Although several bands of rain moved south and east across Wales during this period, rainfall amounts were generally small and there was a good deal of dry bright weather. Daytime temperatures returned close to the average for mid-October but it was cold at night with a touch of frost on the mornings of the 20th and 21st.
- 22nd to 23rd:
- On the 22nd light showers occurred during the day with more persistent rain arriving in the evening. This rain, heavy in places, cleared during the early hours of the 23rd to be followed by showers which became heavy and thundery across the south for a time.
- 24th to 25th:
- Clearing skies and light winds overnight on 23rd resulted in a chilly start to the 24th with a few fog patches. Both days were dry, with an exceptionally cold night for October occurring on the night of the 24th, -6.6 °C being recorded at Sennybridge (Powys). A few mist and fog patches also formed.
- 26th to 31st:
- The month ended as it began with unsettled conditions returning from the west. Rain accompanied by strong south-westerly winds spread quickly east during the early hours of the 26th and continued through the day. The 27th was brighter though with some showers, heavy and thundery in the northwest, and heavy showers continued to affect many places during the evening. Heavy showers continued in the west through the early hours of the 28th with more general rain following through the day, though this was light over the south and east. The following day was windy with some heavy bursts of rain for a time. It became brighter again on the 30th but further rain spread north later with rain continuing to affect the south through the morning of the 31st.
Scotland diary of highlights
Temperatures varied widely during the month but overall were near normal. There were a few warm days and also some chilly nights, with a few early-season frosts. Rainfall was also near normal, with much of this falling only in the latter part of the month. Sunshine amounts were above normal towards the west, and near normal in the east.
- 1st to 7th:
- The month started on a wet and windy note. Rain was heaviest in Perthshire and the north-east, while severe gales affected Shetland. Further bands of rain moved across the country between the 2nd and 6th, interspersed with brighter weather and a mixture of sunshine and showers. On 7th, a few showers affected the west, otherwise it was dry and bright, Gogarbank (Edinburgh) reaching a warm 18.4 °C.
- 8th to 14th:
- The weather became more settled in the second week. From 8th to 10th, the west had the best of the sunshine, while cloudier weather in parts of the east brought a little light drizzle at times. The 11th was sunny in most places; it was a cold start in the Highlands with Aviemore (Highland) down to -1.9 °C, then the sunshine lifted temperatures to 16.7 °C at West Freugh (Dumfries and Galloway). The 12th was cloudier in the east and the Central Belt, Glasgow reaching just 9.0 °C while sunshine at Dalwhinnie (Highland) lifted temperatures to 14.5 °C. The 13th and 14th were cloudier and there was a little light rain in places, as well as some early fog on the 13th. Some sunshine developed in places on 14th though it was cooler, most places peaking at between 8 and 10 °C.
- 15th to 18th:
- Rain early on the 15th cleared northwards to brighter showery conditions during the day. The 16th was dry in most places, although some showers affected the north-east. The 17th started frosty in the east, then it was a bright day with sunny intervals and scattered showers. The 18th was windy with showers, frequent in the west, and sunny intervals.
- 19th to 25th:
- Southern areas were mainly sunny on 19th and 20th, clear skies allowing the temperature at Tyndrum (Perthshire) to fall to -5.0 °C early on 20th. Meanwhile showers in the north were wintry on high ground, with some snow even to lower levels. Rain fell over northern areas on 21st, edging southwards later, giving 20.8 mm at Cluanie Inn (Highland) in the 24 hours to 0900 on 21st. Rain affected most places on 22nd, some of it heavy, clearing southern areas early on 23rd and then, apart from the odd shower in the north, it was mainly dry and sunny until the 25th. Frost was widespread, Tyndrum dropping to -6.5 °C on the morning of the 25th, while West Freugh’s value of -5.2 °C was the coldest October night there since records began in 1944.
- 26th to 31st:
- Rain spread east overnight and was very heavy in the south-west in the morning of 26th, Dundrennan (Dumfries & Galloway) recording 40.0 mm in four hours. Then it brightened up especially in the east, with Kinloss (Moray) reaching 16.2 °C. Heavy rain overnight gave 46.6 mm at Cluanie Inn in the 24 hours to 0900 on 27th. The 27th was bright with sunshine and showers, the showers mainly in central and northern areas, then heavy rain spread north-eastwards in the evening. The 28th started mainly dry and bright. Rain moved north during the afternoon and evening, heavy in the west. Heavy rain affected western areas on 29th, but it remained drier in the north and east. Tyndrum recorded 48.4 mm in 24 hours to 1800. Blustery showers affected the west on 30th. Eastern areas stayed mostly dry and sunny. It was mostly dry and sunny on 31st, but fog persisted in the Glasgow area until midday.
Northern Ireland diary of highlights
October contained some warm days and chilly nights, but overall mean temperatures were average. Rainfall totals were below average, despite some rain in the final week, totalling only 57% of the monthly long-term average. It was a sunny month across the Province, in fact the fifth-sunniest October in a series from 1929 with 121% of average.
- 1st to 6th:
- The 1st started wet and windy, clearing to sunshine and showers. It was breezy with scattered showers on 2nd, the showers becoming isolated on the 3rd. Sunny spells at first on 4th but rain in the afternoon, some heavy, followed by showers in the west in the evening. The 5th and 6th were windy and bright with sunny spells and a scattering of showers.
- 7th to 14th:
- It stayed dry and bright on 7th, then the 8th was rather cloudy but bright with a spell of light rain during the morning. A brighter day followed on 9th with sunny spells breaking through, these dry and bright conditions continuing into the 10th. Staying dry on 11th, with early fog patches soon dispersing; temperatures reached 18.9 °C at St Angelo (County Fermanagh). Dry on 12th with extensive fog slowly dispersing to leave some sunshine. Dry but cloudy on 13th as fog and low cloud slowly lifted and dispersed. Mainly cloudy but mostly dry on 14th.
- 15th to 25th:
- Patchy rain on 15th, then mainly dry on 16th with bright intervals. The west had a frost early on 17th, then it was a day of sunshine and scattered showers. The 18th and 19th were bright and breezy with showers. Sunny spells and further showers on 20th, staying cold with the highest temperature only 11.4 °C at St Angelo. Milder on 21st and mainly dry with a little rain in the north. On 22nd the morning was mainly dry, then rain became heavy during the evening. Cloudy with rain at first on 23rd, becoming brighter with showers later. A few showers continued in the north on 24th, otherwise it was dry and sunny. The minimum temperature was -6.2 °C at Katesbridge (County Down) on 25th, which was a dry day until rain arrived late in the evening.
- 26th to 31st:
- Mostly cloudy on 26th with rain at times, followed by brighter weather on 27th with blustery showers, some heavy. The 28th was cloudy with rain, dying out during the evening, and it was mild, with 15.6 °C at Ballykelly (County Londonderry). Heavy rain fell on 29th, Helens Bay (County Down) recording 37.2 mm in 12 hours to 1800. Most places stayed dry and sunny on 30th and 31st.