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October 2006

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

UK overview

Mean temperatures were exceptionally above average across the majority of the UK. However, both England and Wales had a warmer October in 2005. For Scotland and Northern Ireland, October 2001 was warmer. Rainfall was generally above or well above average, with parts of north-east Scotland receiving well over double the October average. Sunshine levels were generally close to average.

England and Wales diary of highlights

Temperatures exceptionally above average, with above average rainfall across most areas.

1st to 4th: An unsettled start to the month with low pressure crossing the British Isles bringing rain or showers. Some of the showers were heavy and thundery at times with 32.4 mm of rain at Capel Curig (Gwynedd) and a tornado reported near the south-east coast of England on the 1st. Generally mild, with a high of 19.1 °C recorded at Marham (Norfolk) on the 2nd. The showers eased as the low pressure moved away north eastwards introducing a cooler feel with north-westerly winds.

5th to 6th: Another area of low pressure moved across the UK with strong winds and gusts close to 60 m.p.h on the Isle of Wight on the 5th and 6th. Bands of rain or showers affected all areas and 31.0 mm of rain fell on the 6th at Kenley (Surrey). Temperatures were again above average with 19.2 °C recorded on 6th at Coningsby (Lincolnshire).

7th to 9th: With high pressure generally to the south, it was a dry and quiet few days for many with some warm sunshine at times. With winds now round to the south or south-west a high of 21.6 °C was recorded at Northolt (London) on the 9th. However, heavy showers and thunderstorms broke out in parts of the south-east and East Anglia late in the afternoon and evening on the 9th.

10th to 12th: The warm theme continued with winds from between the south-east and south-west helping the temperature up to 20 °C across large areas of England and Wales and a maximum of 21.6 °C at Pershore (Worcestershire) on the 10th. An area of heavy thunderstorms overnight left south Wales and south-west England with local flooding and 25.4 mm of rain fell at Trawscoed (Dyfed) by the 11th. The band of thunderstorms continued to cross the rest of England and Wales during the 11th leaving Wittering (Cambridgeshire) with 20.0 mm. By the 12th most places had become dry with more warm sunshine developing with a temperature of 19.5 °C recorded at Saunton Sands (Devon).

13th to 16th: High pressure dominated generally to the east, bringing further warm south or south-easterly winds. Overnight mist and fog affected many places, especially northern and eastern parts overnight on the 13th, 14th and 15th. Meanwhile, towards the south-west, bands of heavy showers and thunderstorms left Camborne (Cornwall) with 17.4 mm of rain on 16th, while the temperature reached 20.1 °C at Northolt (London) on the same day.

17th to 19th: Winds from the south and south-west continued to bring above average temperatures. Falling pressure to the south west brought more in the way of rain and showers. 19 °C was recorded at Weybourne (Norfolk) on the 17th and 18th. Bands of heavy showers and thunderstorms swept up from the south with Larkhill (Wiltshire) measuring 33.8 mm on the 19th.

20th to 25th: Temperatures slowly fell but were still above average. Low pressure remained to the south-west bringing bands of rain and showers, heavy at times. Thundery rain was reported in parts of southern England and south Wales on the 23rd. A maximum temperature of 18.5 °C was recorded at Northolt (London) on the 21st, whilst 31.6 mm of rain fell at Herstmonceux (East Sussex) on the 23rd.

26th to 28th: With areas of low pressure passing to the north or north-west, bands of rain and showers affected most places and temperatures were above average. It was very windy across northern England on the 26th. As the wind eased there was overnight ground frost in sheltered places on the morning of the 28th.

29th to 31st: More-settled conditions and sunshine on the 29th and 30th brought a pleasant few days for the end of October. A high of 19.7 °C was recorded in Cardinham (Cornwall) on the 29th and 18.9 °C at Hawarden (Clwyd) on the 30th. A deep area of low pressure moved east towards Scandinavia during the 31st, as a fragmenting band of rain moved southwards followed by showers. This front brought increasingly cold air to northern England, whilst much of Wales and the southern half of England held on to average or warmer temperatures. It became much colder than of late overnight as winds finally went round to the north.

Scotland diary of highlights

Temperatures exceptionally above average. Rainfall was also exceptionally above average over parts of north-east Scotland.

1st to 3rd: An unsettled start to the month, with slow-moving bands of rain bringing some very wet weather to some areas, with around 30 mm at Wick Airport, Altnaharra and Kinbrace (all Highlands) on 1st. Temperatures were above average.

4th to 7th: Apart from showers in the far north and west, it was a fine and pleasant day on the 4th. There was rain in southern areas on the 5th whilst the north escaped, and Lerwick (Shetland) was the sunniest location with 5.8 hours. Low pressure moved across the north on the 6th with rain for all areas at times. Another band of rain moved in from the west during the course of the 7th.

8th to 11th: Winds in the south-west continued to bring above-average temperatures, with rain moving across all parts on the 8th and 9th. Lighter winds and clear skies lead to an air frost for sheltered places by the morning on the 10th and a minimum of -0.2 °C at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire), although there was plenty of sun during the day with 8.9 hours on Fair Isle. By the 11th, maximum temperatures were in the range of 16-18 °C, some 5 or 6 °C above average. However, heavy rain moved up from the south during the afternoon and evening and Rackwick (Orkney) recorded 30.4 mm on 11th.

12th to 16th: With high pressure centred to the east, winds from between south-east and south-west brought a continuation of above-average temperatures. A band of rain crossed all areas on the 12th but from the 13th it was dry and quite warm at times with temperatures reaching 18 °C in Kinloss (Moray) on the 13th and 14th.

17th to 21st: High pressure gradually gave way as low pressure to the south-west of British Isles became more influential. Rain moved up from the south late on the 17th and showers and further rain slowly crossed all parts from the south or south-west. Despite the more unsettled conditions temperatures remained above average as winds originating from the south brought warm air north.

22nd to 26th: A slack area of low pressure kept the unsettled theme going. There were some high rainfall totals including 51.8 mm at Tiree (Hebrides) on the 24th. The wet weather became confined to the north-east overnight and into the 25th as a front became slow moving. On the 25 and 26th, Kirkwall (Orkney) recorded 86.6 mm of rain, with flooding reported at various locations in the north-east. Meanwhile strong to gale-force winds affected all areas, with the highest gust of 85 m.p.h recorded at Lerwick (Shetland).

27th to 30th: Atlantic fronts moved across all parts with more rain or showers at times. Lerwick (Shetland) had another very wet day with 49.2 mm of rain falling on the 30th. Once again temperatures remained above for many, although they were closer to normal over the northern Isles.

31st: The month ended on a much colder note, as a deep area of low pressure moved across northern areas, introducing strong to gale-force northerly winds and a gust to 76 m.p.h at Sule Skerry. Showers, heavy at times, affected many areas, with wintry showers over some high ground. Temperatures fell below average with maximum values into single figures away from the far south.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

Another warm month but some heavy rain at times.

The 1st to the 6th was a changeable period with Atlantic fronts bringing periods of rain or showers at times which were occasionally heavy. Rain on the 1st gave 12 mm at St Angelo and the 5th was very wet with 5 to 10 mm of rain in many areas. Some sunshine did occur at times and it remained mild or even quite warm for early October with temperatures between 16 and 18 °C. The afternoon and evening of the 6th became quite windy for a time with north-west winds touching gale force around some exposed coasts.

Saturday 7th was fine and sunny at first but cloud increased through the day. Temperatures reached the mid-teens again and it felt pleasant. Sunday 8th started fine and sunny but cloud increased in the afternoon with rain spreading to most areas during the late afternoon & evening.

Overnight rain had cleared by the morning of the 9th and apart from a few light showers in the west, many areas had a fine and sunny day with light winds. A cool night followed with some local grass frost and some mist or shallow fog patches around dawn. These cleared however to give a mostly fine day on the 10th with sunny periods. Temperatures recovered to 15 °C by afternoon. Cloud increased overnight to bring rain which was heavy at times and by the morning of the 11th many areas had received 15 to 20 mm of rain and nearly 30 mm at Silent Valley in the Mournes. The afternoon became brighter though with some sunny spells to end the day. Despite the wet start, afternoon temperatures still managed 16 °C.

The 12th brought a big improvement with a fine and sunny autumn day in many areas and temperatures reached 18 °C in some spots. This pleasant weather continued until the 15th with most areas seeing some pleasant mid-October sunshine. Temperatures were well above average by day but the nights were a little cooler by now with some patchy mist and low cloud around.

The 16th to the 20th saw a return to less settled conditions with some showery rain at times. It remained mild, however, and the temperature reached 19 °C at Ballykelly on the 18th.

The weather relented again by day for the weekend of the 21st and 22nd with mostly dry conditions and some sunny spells the best of these on the 21st. Heavy overnight rain however gave 22 mm at Killowen by the morning of the 22nd and 10 to 15 mm elsewhere.

The 23rd and the 24th were mostly dry and bright days with some sunny spells but the weather turned by the afternoon and evening of the 25th with heavy rain spreading north to affect all parts. 25 to 35 mm of rain occurred widely and Silent Valley in the Mournes recorded at total or 49 mm. Localised flooding affected some areas.

Further rain or showers were a feature of most days until the end of the month but the last day of the month was brighter though much cooler with a strong northerly wind and temperatures around 11 to 13 °C at best.

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