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November 2005

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

UK overview

Overall mean temperatures were close to average, with a warm first half being cancelled out by a cold second half. Sunshine levels well above average across the UK, with some stations and areas, setting new sunshine records. Rainfall close to average across many areas, but below average yet again over the England SE & Central S area.

15 cm of snow lying at Aviemore on 15th. Temperature of -9 °C was recorded at Braemar and Tulloch Bridge on 18th.

England and Wales diary of highlights

The first half of the month was unsettled and warm, while the second half was cold and increasingly wintry with some significant snow, fog and frost. Overall, it was a very sunny month, with sunshine figures exceptionally above average.

1st to 12th: The first 12 days were largely dominated by mild west to south-westerly winds as a series of Atlantic depressions crossed the north of the UK. This weather pattern brought some notable wet and windy weather as well as some unseasonably high temperatures. The focus of the heaviest rain and strongest winds was across the west of England and Wales. Capel Curig (Gwynedd) recorded 131 mm (5 inches) of rain during the first five days of the month. On the 6th a cold front spread south across the UK, giving almost 50 mm (2 inches) of rain at Cardinham near Bodmin (Cornwall). Gusts of wind regularly exceeded 50 m.p.h. across exposed western parts, and on the 3rd a gust of almost 70 m.p.h. was recorded at Mumbles (Swansea). Temperatures peaked at 18.9 °C at Preston (Lancashire) on the 2nd. Any overnight frost was very isolated. Thunder was an additional element of the weather, mainly in association with the heavier rain in the west. Despite the unsettled weather, Bognor Regis (West Sussex) and Hunstanton (Norfolk) recorded over eight hours of sunshine on the 4th and 5th respectively.

13th to 23rd: The Azores high pressure built across the UK on the 13th to give a brief spell of more settled weather. Along with plenty of sunshine, there was some overnight frost and fog. On the 15th, low pressure running into Scandinavia swept weather fronts south across England and Wales. This allowed a fairly cold and showery northerly to develop, before pressure built from the north to give a prolonged period of settled autumn weather, lasting from the 18th to the 23rd. Fog and penetrating frosts were frequent occurrences, and low daytime temperatures were recorded where any overnight fog was slow to clear. Fog lingered all day in parts of Oxfordshire and Worcestershire on the 19th, and more generally across England and Wales the following day. On the 19th and 20th the temperature remained below freezing all day at Pershore (Worcestershire), and on the 23rd low cloud and fog persisted across central and northern England. Leeming (North Yorkshire) only reached -0.5 °C in the extensive fog on the 23rd, and at the start of that day Redesdale Camp (Northumberland) recorded a sharp frost with a temperature of -8.7 °C. Despite the fog and low cloud, there was plentiful sunshine, with southern England reporting the highest values. Hastings (East Sussex) was sunniest on the 17th and 18th, recording 8.5 hours on both days.

24th to 30th: The 24th saw a dramatic change in the weather as two cold fronts swept south across England and Wales, introducing a brisk northerly airstream of Arctic origin. There was a substantial drop in pressure from around 1038 mb on the 23rd to 992 mb by midday on the 25th. The second cold front gave widespread squally winds, with gusts exceeding 50 m.p.h. in places. In the wake of the weather fronts, plenty of blustery showers developed, especially across Wales, East Anglia and the West Country. Some of the showers turned wintry, with sleet or snow, especially over hills where temporary blizzard conditions were observed. There were five to ten centimetres of lying snow reported in west Wales, Devon and Cornwall on the 25th. The snow caused significant traffic disruption along the Bodmin Moor section of the A30. The cold wintry weather continued into the closing stages of the month, with sleet or snow showers widely reported on the 28th. The Gloucestershire area saw some significant snowfall, which once again brought some traffic disruption. As the strong northerly winds eased, penetrating frosts became an increasing feature. Woodford (Greater Manchester) recorded -7.7 °C on the morning of the 29th. The 30th then saw a warm front spreading in from the west, slowly introducing milder air. A consequence of this was a temporary spell of freezing rain across more northern parts of England and Wales.

Scotland diary of highlights

Mild and unsettled weather off the Atlantic dominated the first part of November with two significant gales. The second half of the month experienced northerly or anticyclonic conditions so that it was much colder with some snow.

During the first four days a depression moved slowly north-east across the British Isles bringing a band of rain followed by showers. The main feature of the weather was the mildness with the night-time temperature staying above 10 °C in some places and rising to 16 °C at Edinburgh on the 3rd.

From the 5th to the 11th a series of depressions passed to the north of Scotland bringing mild and changeable weather with rain or showers, heavy in the north-west. Notable gales took place on the 8th and 11th, when gusts at South Uist reached 97 m.p.h. and 92 m.p.h. respectively. The first event was associated with a small and rapidly moving depression whose effects were limited to the north-west. The second was caused by a major depression and affected most of the country.

Winds turned into the north-west on the 12th after the last depression moved away, bringing much colder weather. This first outbreak of air from the north was soon replaced by mild and humid air from the west, with the temperature rising to 15 °C at Aberdeen.

Northerly winds were renewed on the 15th, bringing sun to the south and wintry showers to the north. High pressure gradually built from the west, bringing sunny days and frosty nights with the temperature falling to -9 °C at Tulloch Bridge on the 18th.

The anticyclone settled down over England from the 19th to the 23rd bringing milder air and cloud from the west at times. On the 21st the minimum temperature was 11 °C at Rackwick and Barra. Further south and east there were clear skies at times with the temperature falling to -7 °C at Tulloch Bridge on the 22nd.

From the 24th to the 26th a depression developed over Norway and moved south to the Netherlands, bringing a burst of strong northerly winds and bands of precipitation. Snow showers affected the north on the 24th, with 15 cm accumulating at Aviemore. On the 25th the precipitation turned to rain in the north but a band of snow affected some central and southern parts, with 12 cm at Carluke. Winds gusted to 88 m.p.h. at Kirkwall. The next day was less cold and windy with rain in the east dying out.

Northerly winds continued from the 27th to 29th, bringing much bright weather but with snow showers in the north-east. Milder weather with cloud and a little rain arrived from the west on the 30th.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

A dry and sunny month. Very mild at first then much colder.

The month opened on a mild note with temperatures well above average during the first week. On the 2nd, temperatures reached 17 °C in some areas. There were also wet and windy spells and on the evening of the 7th, severe gales affected many areas with gusts 60 to 80 m.p.h., bringing some damage and disruption to electricity supplies.

Another very windy spell occurred on the 11th though winds, gusting 50 to 70 m.p.h. caused less disruption than those of the 7th. The mild, changeable conditions continued until mid-month when a marked change to much colder conditions occurred. Temperatures dropped into single figures and as high pressure became established, the period between the 17th and 24th was fine by day with long sunny spells but nights were very cold with sharp frost and freezing fog patches. The fog was locally slow to clear by day. Temperatures at night fell below -4 °C in some areas.

By the 24th, winds turned north-westerly and the coldest air of the season so far moved southwards across the whole area. Showers turned to snow during the evening and gave several centimetres in places. This cold snap was short-lived though and showers turned to rain again on the 28th with snow on low ground readily melting.

The last few days of the month remained quite cold with further night-time frosts, but the 30th was slightly milder as Atlantic air returned.

The month overall was very sunny with some areas seeing almost record breaking levels of sunshine and temperatures ended close to normal, with the mild first half being cancelled out by the very cold second half. High pressure dominating the second half of the month ensured the month was also dry with a few places seeing barely 50% of the long-term average for November.

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