November 2012

The averaging period used for the following assessment was 1981-2010.

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The month opened with a showery and cool regime, and there were frosts in some areas, but for much of the time between 6th and 14th pressure was higher and milder air covered the country. An exceptionally wet spell from 19th to 26th brought widespread disruption from flooding and landslips; some areas had up to twice the whole month's normal rainfall amount within the space of a week. The last few days of the month were much colder, drier and brighter with some snow in the north.

The UK mean temperature was 0.4 °C below the 1981-2010 average. Rainfall totals for the UK overall were 112% of the long-term average. However, some places in a band from Devon to Humberside had up to twice their normal amount, whereas Northern Ireland and north-east Scotland were drier than average. The UK sunshine figure for the month was also 109% of average, with the sunniest area being Northern Scotland.

A maximum temperature of 16.4 °C was recorded at Kew Gardens (Greater London) on the 13th. A minimum temperature of -7.3 °C was recorded at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) early on the 29th. In the 24 hours ending at 0900 on the 19th, 125.0 mm of rain fell at Benmore, Younger Botanic Garden (Argyll). A wind gust of 86 mph was recorded at Capel Curig (Gwynedd) on 22nd. Snow depths of 2 cm were observed at Warcop Range (Cumbria) at 0900 on 26th, Albemarle (Northumberland) at 0900 on 27th and Shap (Cumbria) and Blythe (Borders) at 0900 on 30th.

Weather impacts

A small low pressure system brought heavy rain, strong winds and some snow across southern England on 4th. This caused localised flooding resulting in transport disruption across the south, while over 5 cm of snow fell across parts of Somerset, Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire and north Dorset.

There was heavy rain across south west and western Scotland on 19th and Comrie (Perthshire) suffered flooding as a river burst its banks; rail services were briefly disrupted in some parts of central Scotland. A few trees were also blown over locally in Scotland and Northern Ireland causing short-lived power cuts.

For England and Wales, the 7-day period from 20 to 26th November was one of the wettest weeks in the last 50 years. A succession of heavy rain events affected a swathe from Devon to north-east England. The floods and storms led sadly to several fatalities. There were widespread flooding problems, particularly to transport routes with flooding of roads and landslips, and in total well over 1000 properties were flooded. Most dramatically, a bank of the Great Western canal collapsed near Tiverton, draining the canal into the surrounding land. Many roads and rail services - including both main railway lines from the south-west to London - were closed due to flooding and landslips. In Exeter, a large retaining wall collapsed. In Plymouth, there was some structural damage reported due to high winds. There were reports of fallen trees and structural damage to buildings in the West Midlands. Roads were affected by flooding across north Wales and in Llanberis (Gwynedd) around 100 homes were affected by flash-flooding. Further flooding affected Ulverston, Cumbria and parts of Dumfies and Galashiels. By the 26th parts of Newcastle and a hospital in Northallerton were affected by flooding. Across north-east England, further roads were closed and rail services affected - including the East Coast main line near Darlington.

England diary of highlights

After a cold and showery start, it became rather milder mid-month. A succession of heavy rainfall events from 20th to 27th caused widespread disruption from flooding and landslips, first in the south-west and the Midlands, then across the North of England. The month concluded with a spell of colder and finer weather.

The mean temperature was 0.4 °C below the 1981-2010 average. Rainfall totals were generally near or above average, with many places in a line between Devon and Humberside receiving up to twice the monthly average. However, the overall rainfall figure for England of 135% of normal was much less than November 2009 (194%). Sunshine totals were near or above average in most areas.

1st to 5th:

Low-pressure systems around the British Isles brought an unsettled, wet and windy start to the month. Showers and longer spells of rain affected most areas, most notably on 4th when a band of heavy rain moved across southern England causing flooding in some areas. Cold air drawn in behind the main rain band gave snow in Somerset, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire for a time. There were some cold nights; a widespread frost developed on the night of 4th/5th with Shap (Cumbria) recording -5.3 °C.

6th to 11th:

High pressure in the North Atlantic extended towards the British Isles, bringing a change to more settled weather. The period brought sunny spells and showers, with the showery activity focussed towards the north and west of the country. The settled weather meant that temperatures fell below freezing in places on most nights, and there was also some mist and fog.

12th to 18th:

A warm front moved east across England on 12th, introducing cloudy but milder air which persisted for the next few days. Under the cloud, nights stayed relatively mild, with minima generally several degrees above freezing, and it was also mild by day (e.g. 16.4 °C at Kew Gardens (Greater London) on 13th). Mist and fog affected many places, and there were some outbreaks of drizzle and light rain, chiefly in the west. The cloud eventually cleared on 17th and 18th.

19th to 27th:

A very wet period for England, as a succession of low-pressure systems developed in the Atlantic and moved across the UK. Persistent, heavy rain affected many places and caused widespread flooding and landslips, with separate rainfall events on 20th/21st, 22nd, 24th, and 26th/27th. Parts of south-west England and the Midlands saw well over the whole-month average rainfall during this period. Winds were strong at times, notably on 21st/22nd and 24th/25th, when gales affected some areas, bringing down trees and causing structural damage.

28th to 30th:

The month ended much more settled but significantly colder. Northerly winds brought showers to some eastern counties, and also to the far west, but most areas were generally dry. There was sunshine by day, but widespread overnight frosts developed under clear skies, temperatures around -3 °C being typical for many places, with concerns that ice patches could form in recently flooded areas as water continued to seep from fields and verges. The 30th was cloudier in western parts, and an occluded front brought rain, sleet and snow to northern counties in the evening.

Wales diary of highlights

After a cool and unsettled showery start, it became rather milder mid-month. A succession of heavy rainfall events affected many areas during 20th-27th, causing significant flooding and landslips, along with further disruption caused by strong winds. The last few days of the month turned drier and colder.

The mean temperature was 0.7 °C below the 1981-2010 average. Rainfall totals were a little above average overall. Sunshine totals were mostly a little above normal.

1st to 5th:

The month began with unsettled, wet and windy weather, with low-pressure systems around the British Isles. Showers, a few of them thundery, and also some longer spells of rain affected most of Wales, most notably on 3rd and 4th. Some hill snow was also reported on 3rd. Cold air followed this rain band, and brought heavy showers for a time. There were some cold nights, too, with a widespread frost developing inland on the night of 4th/5th, except in the south-west where heavy, showery rain continued for a time.

6th to 11th:

High pressure in the North Atlantic brought a change to more settled weather. Much of the period had sunny spells and showers, although North Wales saw some more prolonged rain for a time on 7th and then more generally on 9th. The clearer conditions allowed temperatures to fall below freezing on some nights, especially inland, with -2.0 °C at Lake Bala (Gwynedd) and -2.1 °C at Pembrey Sands (Carmarthenshire) on 11th. There was also some overnight morning mist and fog.

12th to 18th:

A warm front moved east across Wales on 12th, bringing rain, some of it heavy across the south-west. Generally cloudy conditions followed and persisted for much of the following week. The cloud cover meant that temperatures stayed relatively high overnight. Mist and fog affected many places, and there was also occasional drizzle and light rain, especially in the west and over the hills. North Wales did see some sunny spells on 15th. The more persistent cloud cleared on 17th, following some heavy rain in the early hours.

19th to 27th:

This was a very unsettled period as a succession of low-pressure systems developed in the Atlantic and moved across the UK. Persistent, heavy rain affected many places and caused flooding and some landslips. The rain was particularly heavy on 22nd, 25th, 26th and 27th. Some areas saw well over the whole-month average rainfall during this period. Strong winds also caused disruption, notably on 21st/22nd and 24th/25th with gales in some areas bringing down trees and causing some structural damage. It was generally mild, too, with St Athan (Glamorgan) reaching 13.8 °C on 22nd.

28th to 30th:

The end of the month was more settled, with a significantly colder northerly airstream. The northerly winds brought showers to some western coastal fringes such as Pembrokeshire but most areas were generally dry. There were some sunny days, too, but under mostly clear skies widespread overnight frost also occurred, with -6.2 °C at Sennybridge (Powys) early on 29th. The 30th was cloudier with a little rain.

Scotland diary of highlights

The month began with some cold nights and autumnal showers, before becoming milder and wetter. In the last few days of the month it became colder and more settled with widespread frosts and some snow, mainly across higher ground.

The mean temperature was 0.4 °C below the 1981-2010 average. Rainfall totals were near average in many areas but less than 50% in parts of the north-east. Sunshine totals were below normal in the south-west but above average in central and northern Scotland.

1st to 5th:

A cold start for parts of the Highlands on 1st, with a minimum of -5.7 °C at Loch Glascarnoch (Highland); it was generally a dry and bright day until rain reached the far west in the evening .The rain continued into 2nd, some of it heavy in central areas where Tyndrum (Perthshire) saw 33.8 mm before it cleared during the afternoon. The 3rd was generally fine and bright, with just scattered showers in the far west. After a chilly start on 4th, another fine but chilly day ensued, but Argyll and Bute saw some heavy showers. After another frosty start it was again mainly dry but cold on 5th with sunny spells and only some scattered showers over the far north-west.

6th to 12th:

A wet morning on 6th for much of the country, but the afternoon was drier and brighter. The 7th was showery in western areas, while the east had the best of any brightness. It was mild despite a strong westerly wind, with 14.1 °C recorded at Tain Range (Inverness-shire) and Lossiemouth (Moray). Winds eased on 8th and it became clearer and drier for a time before rain and increasing winds spread from the north-west in the early hours of 9th. The Borders saw some heavy bursts before the rain cleared slowly to the south in the afternoon. The 10th saw sunny spells and scattered showers, the latter heaviest and most frequent in the west. It was much drier and brighter for many on 11th with only the far north seeing some light scattered showers. A band of rain spread from the west on the morning of 12th, but cleared most of the country by late afternoon leaving light showers in the west.

13th to 19th:

On 13th another band of rain spread from the north-west, reaching southern areas by late afternoon; it was mild, with Kinloss (Moray) reaching 16.3 °C. The 14th was cloudy with patchy light rain for central and western areas, and light rain continued to affect central areas on 15th. The 16th started bright for many areas but rain spread from the north-west by late morning to reach southern areas by the evening. This cleared overnight to leave a bright but showery day on 17th with the heaviest and most frequent showers in the west. The far north saw scattered showers again on 18th with sunny spells elsewhere. The 19th was cloudy, with light rain over central and western areas.

20th to 26th:

Rain and strong winds spread from the west during the morning of 20th and cleared the east during the afternoon, with Tyndrum recording 26 mm. The 21st was mostly dry and bright. A band of at times heavy rain spread swiftly from the west during the early hours of 22nd, giving 36.8 mm at Eskdalemuir (Dumfries and Galloway). Showers affected western areas on 23rd and 24th but the rest of the country was dry with sunny spells. Rain spread from the south on 25th, moving steadily north during the day, and was followed by a further band of rain early on 26th which lingered in south-eastern areas for much of the day.

27th to 30th:

The 27th and 28th were bright and dry for most, although scattered showers affected the far north and north-east and fell as snow on higher ground. It felt cold in the north-east wind, and remained cold but bright for much of the country on 29th and 30th although far western and northern areas had some rain.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

The month began with some cold days, before turning milder but much more unsettled, with showers and periods of rain interspersed with drier, brighter interludes. The end of the month, and the month overall, were drier and colder than average.

The mean temperature for the month was 1.0 °C below the 1981-2010 average. Rainfall totals were below average, with less than 70% across County Antrim and County Londonderry. Sunshine totals were near normal, or somewhat above in the east.

1st to 6th:

After a bright start on 1st a band of rain spread from the west in the afternoon. This lingered overnight and so 2nd started wet, the rain only slowly dying out during the afternoon. The 3rd was drier and brighter but colder. Rain in eastern and southern areas on 4th cleared overnight, and 5th was generally dry and sunny after a chilly start. The 6th remained dry and bright but it felt cool in the north-west wind.

7th to 16th:

After a bright start on 7th, rain spread from the west during the morning but cleared all areas by the evening. The 8th was drier and brighter with sunny spells and quite mild, with 12.3 °C reached at Murlough (County Down). There was overnight rain, which cleared eastwards on 9th to leave a generally cloudy day with scattered showers in the north-west. The showers continued on 10th, most frequent in the west. The 11th was generally dry with sunny spells but a band of rain spread from the west overnight, clearing in the morning of 12th to leave a cloudy but mild day with areas around Belfast reaching 14 °C. It was mild again on 13th but rain spread from the west during the afternoon, continuing for many on 14th. The 15th was brighter but with patchy rain in northern areas for much of the day. A cloudy start on 16th before rain spread from the west, clearing overnight.

17th to 22nd:

It was brighter but colder on 17th with scattered showers. Much of 18th was bright and dry, but rain spread from the south-west in the afternoon with some heavy bursts and Murlough recorded 48.6 mm. The rain cleared overnight but 19th remained cloudy with light and patchy rain for many areas. More rain spread from the west on 20th, clearing during the afternoon, although westerly winds strengthened during the day and Castlederg (Tyrone) recorded a gust of 51 mph The 21st was dry and sunny. A band of rain spread from the west during the early hours of 22nd and cleared later to leave a few scattered showers.

23rd to 30th:

The 23rd was bright with scattered light showers. It was mostly bright and dry on 24th too, but cold with temperatures struggling to reach 6 °C in eastern areas and only 2 °C in the west. Rain edged into eastern areas before dawn on 25th but cleared during the morning to leave another bright and dry day. It was mostly dry and bright again on 26th with just a few showers in the far west. The 27th and 28th were bright with only a few well scattered showers but it felt cold in a north-east wind. The 29th and 30th were cloudy but dry with mist and fog patches for many, remaining cold with temperatures generally only reaching 5 °C.

Last updated: 27 November 2013