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September 2009

The averaging period used for the following assessment was 1971-2000.

UK overview

Mean temperatures were generally above the 1971-2000 normal for September, ranging from about 0.5 °C above average in Wales and south-west England to about 1.5 °C above in northern Scotland. Rainfall was well below average across most of the UK, the main exception being parts of eastern and north-east Scotland. It was very dry across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with much of East Anglia and the Midlands receiving less than a third of the normal amount. It was the driest September across England since 1997 and the 9th driest in a series from 1914. Sunshine was generally close to normal. The sunniest places were in southern England and south Wales, where totals were typically 20% above average, and the dullest were in north-west Scotland where they were about 20% below.

A maximum temperature of 28.7 °C was recorded at Gravesend (Kent) on 8th. A minimum temperature of -1.2 °C was recorded at Kinbrace (Highland) on 19th and at Katesbridge (County Down) on 20th. A site near Fochabers (Moray) recorded 126.2 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours ending at 0900 on 4th. A wind gust of 72 mph was recorded at Stornoway (Western Isles) on 8th.

England diary of highlights

Another warm month and, after an unsettled first week, it was largely fine and dry. Rainfall was well below the 1971-2000 average in almost all parts, with less than a third of normal in a broad swathe from Lincolnshire and East Anglia across the Midlands to the Bristol Channel. For England, it was the driest September since 1997 and ranks 9th in a series from 1914. Mean temperatures were generally above average, particularly in counties along the east coast. Sunshine totals were mostly close to average, but somewhat above normal in southernmost counties.

1st to 6th: Plenty of scattered showers on the 1st, some heavy and thundery across the Midlands and eastern England, with a few places recording around 10 mm in an hour. Heavy, persistent rain and strong winds affected the south-west early on 2nd, and spread to other areas during the day. Around 20 mm of rain was recorded quite widely with 24.2 mm at Crosby (Merseyside). The 3rd and 4th were windy, showery days, especially across the north. Southern areas were driest with the best of the sunshine. The 5th and 6th saw further cloud and rain in northern areas, although it was fine towards the south where temperatures reached around 20 °C.

7th to 18th: This period was mostly dry as high pressure became established. Some rain fell in the north and west on 8th but it was fine and very warm in the south-east, with Gravesend (Kent) reaching 28.7 °C. The 9th to 11th were dry and mostly sunny after some early fog. The 12th and 13th were also fine and dry, with daytime temperatures over 20 °C widely. Cloud thickened to bring a little rain to the north on 14th, but the emphasis was on dry, settled conditions. A stiff easterly wind developed over southern areas during 15th and 16th. A line of locally sharp showers developed from Essex to Dorset on 15th, when 60.3 mm was recorded at South Farnborough (Hampshire), with 16.6 mm in 1 hour. Pressure rose on 17th and 18th, and all areas were fine with some sunshine and highest temperatures around 20 °C.

19th to 30th: The high declined and a weakening front moved into the north-west during 19th, although amounts of rain were mostly small. A few well-scattered heavy thundery showers developed over south-east England and East Anglia but otherwise it was dry and quite warm, especially in the south with temperatures peaking around 23 °C widely. A few showers again on 20th in Kent and Sussex, but sunshine developed elsewhere. Rather cloudy with some light rain across northern areas on 21st but southern areas had another fine day. The south was cloudy with some light rain on 22nd and 23rd, the north seeing the best of the sunshine. Continuing generally dry and fine with some sunshine during the last few days and daytime temperatures continued to reach 20 °C in the south.

Wales diary of highlights

Mainly fine, dry and quite warm after an unsettled start. Rainfall was well below the 1971-2000 average generally, with most areas recording less than half the normal amount. It was the driest September since 2002. Mean temperatures and sunshine totals were generally close to, or a little above, normal.

1st to 4th: The unsettled theme of the late summer continued, with widespread heavy showers on the 1st followed by wet and windy conditions on the 2nd as a deep depression moved north-eastwards through the Irish Sea. This gave over 25 mm of rain over the north and west with Capel Curig (Conwy) recording 56.6 mm in the 24 hours from 0900 on 2nd. The 3rd and 4th continued windy with blustery showers.

5th to 8th: A transitional period to more settled conditions. The 5th was dry and quite sunny over the south but rather cloudy over the north. A little rain moved east on the 6th clearing early on the 7th although further rain reached the west later. The 8th was generally cloudy and damp with quite extensive hill fog but clearer fresher weather moved into the north and west later.

9th to 18th: High pressure extended across the UK during the 9th and 10th and persisted for the rest of the month. Light rain cleared away southwards early on the 9th and it was then dry for the following 10 days. Cloud amounts were very variable with some days sunny and others quite cloudy. Throughout this period it was generally warm by day but there were some chilly nights with the temperature falling to 3.6 °C at Sennybridge (Powys) early on the 13th. Brisk north-easterly winds affected the south on the 15th and 16th.

19th to 30th: From the 19th to 23rd the high pressure declined a little, allowing weak fronts to move south and eastwards but amounts of rain were very small with many places staying dry. High pressure was re-established from the 24th giving a settled end to the month with light winds, variable cloud cover and some sunshine at times. The best of the sunshine was over the south and east where the days were quite warm, the west and north often cloudy.

Scotland diary of highlights

Heavy rain in the first week, with some flooding, was followed by a mainly fine, settled spell but it became more changeable again in the last 10 days. Rainfall totals were generally close to the 1971-2000 average, but were around 50% below normal in parts of the south-west and 50% above in parts of the north-east, and to the east of Edinburgh. It was generally warmer than average, particularly over the north where mean temperatures were typically 1.5 °C above normal. Sunshine totals were close to average, apart from the far north-west which was duller than normal.

1st to 8th: It was bright but showery on the 1st and 2nd, with heavy rain spreading into the south later on the 2nd. This extended to most areas on 3rd and for a time on 4th. There were widespread falls of 25 mm or more and over 100 mm in Moray, with flooding in Moray, Aberdeenshire and the Borders. Cloudy with rain on 5th, heavy at times in the west, but drier and brighter in the east. Occasional rain affected the south and west for much of 6th, extending to all parts during the evening. Dry and bright for much of 7th but cloudy later with rain in the west. Some very heavy rain early on 8th caused a landslip in Argyll; Tyndrum (Stirling) recorded 53 mm up to 0900. Severe gales in the far north included a 72 m.p.h. gust at Stornoway (Western Isles).

9th to 20th: The 9th was a much quieter day with only a few showers in the west. The 10th was also generally fine and sunny. Patchy light rain in Shetland on 11th and some early mist and fog, otherwise dry and bright. Dry with long sunny spells on 12th and warm, with Charterhall (Borders) reaching 22.6 °C. The 13th and 14th were mainly sunny and warm, with Bishopton (Glasgow) reaching 21.9 °C on 13th, while the north-east was cooler with drizzle. The 15th was sunny in the south and east, with 10.3 hours recorded at Edinburgh, but cloud spread to the north and west. The 16th started rather cloudy, then sunny spells developed widely. After a cold night, with the temperature at Eskdalemuir (Dumfries and Galloway) falling to 0.8 °C, the 17th was also mainly sunny, the temperature at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) reaching 19.0 °C. The 18th was sunniest in the north-east, elsewhere it was cloudier. The 19th also started chilly in the north, with Kinbrace (Highland) recording -1.2 °C, then it was a bright but showery day, the showers mainly in the west. Scattered light showers affected western areas on 20th with dry, bright weather elsewhere.

21st to 30th: Rain during the morning of 21st, then drier and brighter in the east in the afternoon, the temperature reaching 20.5 °C at Lossiemouth (Moray). Heavy rain affected the north-west later, with Lusa (Skye) recording 27.6 mm in 3 hours. Rain in the south at first on 22nd then brighter with scattered blustery showers, these conditions lasting through the 23rd. On the 24th the west turned cloudy with rain, while the east stayed dry. The 25th and 26th were cloudy in the west and the far north with patchy drizzle but the east was dry and bright, Fyvie Castle (Aberdeenshire) reaching 21.3 °C on 26th. Rain was persistent and heavy at times over the north-west Highlands on 27th and 28th. The south and east stayed mainly dry and quite warm, with Leuchars (Fife) reaching 19.0 °C on 28th. Cloudy with occasional rain on 29th and much cooler in the east, only reaching 11.4 °C at Leuchars, but the far north was brighter. Cloud and drizzle slowly cleared the south on 30th leaving a bright day, though windy with showers in the far north-east.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

Changeable conditions during the first and last weeks, with a mainly fine, settled spell in between. Rainfall totals were typically around half the 1971-2000 average. It was the driest September since 1986 and the 9th driest in a series from 1914. Mean temperatures and sunshine totals were somewhat above normal.

1st to 8th: A showery start to the month, with scattered thunderstorms on the 1st. Bright with early showers on 2nd then heavy rain later but a return to sunshine and showers on the 3rd. Sunshine and showers on the 4th. A bright day on the 5th with some sunny spells but also a few light showers. Mostly cloudy on 6th with outbreaks of rain throughout the day and top temperatures of only 14 °C. A dry, bright start on the 7th then cloud and rain edged in from the west; the temperature reached 19.4 °C at Killowen (County Down). The 8th started cloudy with rain before becoming bright and breezy.

9th to 20th: The 9th was mainly fine with lighter winds. The 10th was also dry with some bright or sunny spells. Early mist and fog patches on the 11th then dry and bright. Dry with long sunny spells on 12th, the temperature reaching 20.2 °C at St Angelo (County Fermanagh). Dry and mostly sunny on the 13th with temperatures around 21 °C in many places. Dry again on 14th with early fog soon clearing then some sunshine. The 15th was mainly cloudy with patchy rain, but parts of Down became sunny in the afternoon. Sunshine developed more widely on 16th, with 9.1 hours recorded at Aldergrove (County Antrim), and 17th was also dry and bright. The 18th continued dry but it was a generally cloudier day. On 19th a narrow band of rain moved eastwards with brighter weather following. The 20th was mainly dry with some sunshine and just a few light showers.

21st to 30th: The 21st was cloudy in the morning with outbreaks of rain, but drier and brighter in the afternoon. Rain returned during the evening, clearing around midnight. Bright intervals and scattered blustery showers on 22nd and 23rd. Mainly dry with bright spells on 24th and 25th. The 26th to 28th were rather cloudy but mainly dry. Cloudy again on 29th with rain at times in the north; the temperature reached 19.3 °C at Killowen. The month ended on a dull and rather drizzly note.

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