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November 2001

The averaging period used for the following assessment was 1961-1990.

UK overview

Another mild month across the whole of the UK. Most areas of the UK also experienced below average rainfall, with parts of southern England receiving less than 50% of their normal rainfall. It was also rather dull across most western areas of the UK, with eastern and southern areas seeing higher than average sunshine values.

Colwyn Bay and Hawarden reported a maximum temperature of 16.9 °C, which broke the UK record for the 30th November.

England and Wales diary of highlights

Mainly dry, mild and anticyclonic, especially dry and sunny in south-east England. After a warm start, there was a little snow during the second week in eastern England. Mostly dull and gloomy the third week. Changeable, then becoming wet and unsettled last week. Very mild at at the end of the month.

1st to 6th Mainly dry, sunny and warm by day, especially in the south, with high pressure close to southern England. Low pressure over Scandinavia drove some weak cold fronts south-east on the 3rd/4th and 6th. There was patchy mist or fog and slight frost at times overnight.

7th to 8th Wet, especially on the 7th as a deep low tracked to Denmark. Cold northerly winds on the 8th brought some heavy thundery showers to north-facing coasts; Weybourne/Norfolk recorded a gust of 56 kn.

9th to 10th Mostly dry, sunny and cold with overnight frost under a ridge of high pressure. There were wintry showers over the east Midlands and counties adjacent to the North Sea. Bedfordshire received up to 3 cm of snow in parts, the earliest significant report of lying snow in southern England since 1980.

11th to 12th Mainly dry at first but a cold front brought outbreaks of rain to most places on the 12th.

13th to 20th An anticyclone covered the region for most of this period, later stretching across to the continent. The weather was generally dry apart from a little light rain or drizzle at times. There was also some patchy mist, hill and coastal fog from time to time. Mainly sunny at first in south-east England and East Anglia with some overnight frosts, Benson fell to -5 °C early on the 14th. However from the 16th increasing cloud established the traditional anticyclonic gloom and a little light rain or drizzle. Parts of England and Wales became brighter during the 19th/20th although there were still a few light showers affecting some areas.

21st to 24th A changeable situation gave alternating mild and cold days. Mild wet weather on the 21st gave way to drier conditions as a weak cold front cleared on the 22nd. After a frosty start on the 23rd (Shap in Cumbria fell to -5 °C ), more cloud and rising temperatures spread back in thereafter.

25th to 30th Mostly wet and unsettled as vigorous Atlantic lows pushed their fronts across the region. There were rain and showers at times from the 25th to the 29th, with a funnel cloud reported from Preston/Lancs on the 27th. After some overnight frost on the 26th and 27th the last two days became exceptionally mild, but still mostly cloudy with rain and drizzle at times and quite persistent hill fog. At Colwyn Bay and Hawarden the maximum temperature of 16.9 °C on the 30th broke the UK record for the last day of the month.

Scotland diary of highlights

Mild westerly winds predominate.

High pressure to the south and south-west dominated the pressure pattern for most of November. Mild air tracking around the north of the high covered Scotland for much of the month, but there were occasional bursts of colder air from the north.

After the very warm October, the first few days of November saw a cooling trend as air of north-westerly origin penetrated the country. There was a reasonable amount of bright weather with showers and bands of mostly light rain. However, a depression moving south-east gave a very wet day on the 5th, with 51 mm of rain at Dalmally.

A veering of the airflow into the north ushered in a very cold day on the 8th with strong winds, and snow in the north and east. Many places experienced the first lying snow of the season, with 18 cm at Aviemore. Alternating spells of mild westerly and cold northerly winds continued for the next few days.

On the 14th the anticyclone moved north-east towards Britain, bringing a spell of settled weather. However, any brightness in the east at first was soon extinguished as the phenomenon known as 'anticyclonic gloom' took over. This was accentuated on the 18th and 19th when weak fronts penetrated the high and gave some rain.

On the 20th the anticyclone retreated to the south-west, allowing westerly winds with weak fronts to cross Scotland, and bringing alternations between warm and cold air. On the 23rd the temperature at Biggar fell to -5 °C but rose to 16 °C at Lossiemouth the next day.

During the final week westerly winds continued, but pressure was lower than earlier in the month. Rather cold and showery weather, with further snow on the 27th, was replaced by milder air with rain at times during the last three days.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

Mild but dull.

1st to 7th Rather warm throughout, fairly dry and sunny to start with. Turning dull and wet from the 5th . Persistent rain/showers on 7th with strong winds especially on the East coast.

8th to 13th Strong winds were also recorded on the 8th. Cold everywhere on the 8th and 13th, warm during the rest of the period. Unsettled conditions with showers, some heavy at times, along with sunny spells. The 8th was the coldest day of the month, while the 13th was one of the sunniest.

14th to 19th Many areas recorded little or no rainfall during this period. Bright and sunny at first followed by very dull conditions for a number of days before returning to sunny spells.

20th to 24th Very mild, however rather dull and unsettled with rain and showers recorded throughout. Some localised heavy rain on the North Coast on the 21st.

25th to 27th Rather cold, with rain and showers. Good spells of bright sunshine.

28th to 30th Mild throughout but dull. Periods of persistent or patchy rain followed by drier conditions.

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