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October 2013

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

UK overview

An unsettled month, opening with showers and spells of rain, but also mild in most areas. The second week saw cooler, drier weather for many parts, but from mid-month it again became unsettled, albeit remaining mild. A vigorous storm brought strong winds and heavy rain to southern parts of England and Wales early on the 28th, causing widespread damage and disruption.

The UK mean temperature was 11.2 °C, which is 1.7 °C above the 1981-2010 average. The Midlands, the Thames Estuary area and parts of south-west England and Northern Ireland were wetter than average, while a few places in northern Scotland were drier than average. The UK overall received 129% of the average rainfall amount for the month. There was provisionally 84% of the long-term average hours of bright sunshine, with northern England, North Wales, southern and eastern Scotland particularly dull.

A maximum temperature of 23.0 °C was recorded at Skegness (Lincolnshire) on the 8th. A minimum temperature of -3.6 °C was recorded at Dalwhinnie (Highland) on the 12th. In the 24 hours ending at 0900 GMT on the 3rd, 89.4 mm of rain fell at Rest and Be Thankful (Argyll). A wind gust of 99 mph was recorded at Needles Old Battery (Isle of Wight) on the 28th.

Weather impacts

Spells of heavy rain throughout the month caused localised flooding and other impacts. On the 2nd and 3rd flooding affected South Wales, Cornwall and Northern Ireland, while the rain caused a landslip that closed the A83 in Argyll. Flash flooding occurred in Cardiff on the 19th. A tornado was reported to have caused damage to homes and property on Hayling Island (Hampshire) on the 20th. Heavy rain affected parts of Pembrokeshire and Powys on the 21st, then Snowdonia on the 22nd, where a landslip closed the A498. Central and southern Scotland also experienced heavy rain and flooding on the 22nd.

A vigorous autumn storm affected southern UK early on the 28th with widespread impacts, mostly due to damaging gusts of wind, particularly in south-east England. Four people were killed, in Kent, Watford and west London. Over 600,000 homes were left without power and there was severe travel disruption as train services were suspended, flights were reduced, fallen trees and standing water blocked roads and ferry services were cancelled.

England diary of highlights

The month overall was unsettled, with frequent spells of rain and blustery showers. It was mostly a mild month, temperatures widely exceeding 20 °C in the first few days and reaching the high teens later in the month. A brief spell of more settled weather in the second week coincided with cooler conditions. A vigorous depression brought stormy weather and widespread disruption on the 28th.

Temperatures for the month overall were above normal, with the mean temperature for England 1.9 °C above the 1981-2010 average. Most areas were wetter than average, in particular the Midlands and parts of Devon, Essex and Kent. England overall had 149% of the long-term average rainfall and it was the wettest October since 2000. Sunshine totals were mostly below average, especially in the north-west, and England overall saw 85% of average.

1st to 4th:

It was mainly dry and bright on 1st although an area of heavy showers and thunderstorms affected southern areas of Devon and Cornwall. It was a day of sunshine and showers on 2nd with the north-east and south-west seeing the most frequent showers. On 3rd an area of rain spread from the south, reaching northern areas by late afternoon; Okehampton (Devon) recorded 35 mm. The 4th was a day of sunny spells and scattered showers, the heaviest and most frequent showers in Cumbria and the Borders.

5th to 10th:

The 5th was mainly dry and bright for all areas. The 6th and 7th were again generally dry and bright although there were scattered showers in Cumbria and the Borders. A band of light and patchy rain affected the West Country on 8th otherwise it was generally settled. The 9th saw a change to cooler conditions with showers spreading from the north in a strong north-west wind. The 10th remained cool with a strong northerly wind driving showers into eastern areas although it was more settled in the west.

11th to 20th:

An area of low pressure centred in the North sea on 11th resulted in rain and strong winds for many southern and south-eastern areas, with Faversham (Kent) recording 56 mm and Donna Nook (Lincolnshire) reporting a gust of 55 mph. Rain continued for central and eastern areas on 12th with Holbeach (Lincolnshire) recording 30 mm. Rain spread along southern areas on 13th with scattered showers elsewhere. Low pressure continued to affect the country on 14th with widespread showers for many areas and thunderstorms around Wiltshire. Generally more settled on 15th but scattered afternoon showers developed in the Midlands. A band of rain spread from the west on the morning of 16th and moved north-east during the afternoon. The 17th was mainly dry although central areas saw light, scattered showers. It was mainly cloudy but mild on 18th with rain for western and central areas. The south-east saw rain on the morning of 19th and another band of heavy showers spread from the west during the afternoon. The 20th was a day of sunshine and heavy showers, with thunderstorms in the Midlands and winds gusting to 55 mph on the south coast. There were also reports of a tornado at Hayling Island (Hampshire).

21st to 31st:

It was another unsettled day on 21st with showers or longer spells of rain for many areas, and Keswick (Cumbria) recorded 39 mm. The showers became more scattered on 22nd in a fresh south-west wind. The showers were restricted mainly to northern areas on 23rd but the south saw some strong winds with a gust of 75 mph recorded at Needles (Isle of Wight). High pressure edged over the country on 24th, so it was mainly dry and bright, although rain reached the far south-west in the evening. A band of rain swept through the country early on 25th, clearing east during the morning to leave scattered showers mainly in the west. The 26th started bright although winds were fresh along the south coast and a band of rain spread to western areas during the late afternoon. The 27th was a stormy and wet day, with showers during the morning and a band of heavy rain spreading into the south-west in the afternoon, moving east. Otterbourne (Hampshire) recorded 50 mm, and a gust of 84 mph was recorded at Needles (Isle of Wight). It was very stormy during the early hours of 28th with gale-force winds and heavy rain for southern areas; Needles recorded a gust of 99 mph. The rain cleared during the morning to leave frequent and squally showers. The winds eased on 29th and the showers were more scattered and generally lighter. It was mainly dry and bright on 30th although a band of rain spread into western areas during the late afternoon. An area of rain affected south-eastern areas for much of 31st, with scattered showers elsewhere in a fresh westerly wind.

Wales diary of highlights

An unsettled month, with only a few brief interludes of drier and more settled conditions. The month as a whole was mild, and the first few days saw temperatures exceeding 20 °C in some locations. A deep depression crossed the south of the UK on 27th and 28th bringing very strong winds and heavy rain across Wales.

Temperatures for the month were above average, with the mean temperature for Wales 2.1 °C above the 1981-2010 average. It was a wet month, especially in southern areas, with an overall figure of 133% of the long-term average rainfall. Sunshine totals were mostly below normal, with 80% of average overall.

1st to 6th:

The 1st was generally cloudy with occasional showers, and more persistent rain by the evening in the east. The 2nd was cloudy but warm with showers throughout the day. Rain, heavy at times, spread from the south during the morning of 3rd, finally clearing by late afternoon; 60.0 mm was recorded at Aberdaron (Gwynedd). The 4th was cloudy with some patchy rain. It was dry on 5th and 6th, with some sunny spells.

7th to 26th:

The 7th was cloudy with some showers, followed by heavier rain moving into the far north-west in the evening. It was cloudy with patchy rain on 8th, particularly in the early morning. The 9th was cooler with some patchy rain, becoming showery by the afternoon with a little sunshine. It remained cool but mainly dry and bright on 10th. Some patchy light rain affected eastern areas on the morning of 11th, clearing to leave a brighter afternoon. The 12th started dry and bright but an area of rain edged into south-eastern parts in the late afternoon. It was wet and overcast for much of 13th, the rain only clearing later in the afternoon. The 14th brought widespread showers and sunny spells. It was mainly cloudy but dry on 15th. A band of rain spread from the west during the morning of 16th, then cleared to the east by midday; Valley (Gwynedd) recorded 25 mm. It was a day of sunshine and showers on 17th, with central and southern areas faring worst. The 18th was overcast and wet for much of the day with north-western areas seeing the heaviest rain. The 19th started dry but a band of heavy showers spread from the west during the afternoon. The 20th and 21st were days of sunshine and showers for many areas, the showers heaviest in the south. The 22nd was mild but wet with rain turning showery in the afternoon, with 33.2 mm falling at Capel Curig (Gwynedd). The 23rd was mainly dry with sunshine. A dry start on 24th gave way to increasing cloud and patchy rain late in the day. There was rain in the early hours of 25th, then sunshine and showers by the afternoon. The 26th was dull with light showers then a band of rain moving in by late afternoon.

27th to 28th:

The 27th started with showers, ahead of rain and strong winds. Winds increased to gale-force by the evening. 49.4 mm of rain fell at Cardiff Bute Park (South Glamorgan), and winds gusted to 76 mph at Capel Curig (Gwynedd). Strong winds continued on 28th with near-average temperatures, and rain was followed by a few showers.

29th to 31st:

The 29th saw rain, followed by sunshine and showers. The 30th started with isolated showers and a little sunshine; a band of rain followed during the afternoon and evening. Showers and a little sunshine were followed by a period of rain in the south on 31st.

Scotland diary of highlights

The month was mostly unsettled, though also rather mild with temperatures exceeding 20 °C in some areas during the first week. A cooler, more settled interlude just before mid-month was followed by a return to rain and showers, but also some milder weather.

Temperatures for the month were above average, with the overall mean temperature 1.5 °C above the 1981-2010 average. Rainfall was above average in the south and east, but the north and west were somewhat drier. Scotland overall had 109% of the long-term average rainfall. Sunshine totals were above average in a few locations in the north-west, but most areas were rather dull and Scotland overall saw 80% of the long-term average.

1st to 7th:

There was rain in the west on 1st but the east, under high pressure, was mainly dry. Rain affected most areas on 2nd but the north-east stayed mainly dry. Heavy rain in the west on 3rd spread east in the afternoon, with 34.8 mm recorded at Achnagart (Ross & Cromarty). The 4th was mainly dry, except for patchy rain in the east. It was mainly dry on 5th, with some patchy rain in the north and west. Patchy rain at first on 6th, then mainly dry and warm with a maximum temperature of 20.4 °C at Urquhart, Northwood (Ross & Cromarty). The north had rain, heavy at times, on 7th, while in the south a dry start was followed by showers.

8th to 13th:

The 8th saw scattered showers across the country. Showers or longer spells of rain and strong to gale-force northerly winds on 9th combined to give a cold feel. On 10th it was dry in the west as high pressure built, but there were some showers in the east. It was dry on 11th, with bright or sunny spells except in the south and east. The 12th was mostly dry. The west remained dry and bright on 13th but the east was cloudier, with some rain in the south-east later.

14th to 25th:

It was mostly dry on 14th, but there was rain in the south and east. Patchy rain fell in the south-east on 15th, but elsewhere it was mainly dry. The 16th started mainly dry but rain spread across the country from the south-west later. The 17th had rain or scattered showers, especially in the south. After a dry start on 18th, rain spread from the west later. There was rain in the east on 19th, and blustery showers elsewhere. Blustery showers or longer spells of rain affected all but the far north on 20th. It was mostly dry at first on 21st but rain, heavy at times, spread from the south, with 37.0 mm recorded at Eskdalemuir (Dumfries & Galloway). Rain, heavy at times, continued in most areas on 22nd, but it remained mild. The 23rd was windy with frequent showers or longer spells of rain for most areas. A ridge of high pressure on 24th gave a settled and mostly dry day, apart from some showers in the west. A frontal system moved across the country on 25th bringing rain, heavy at times, to most areas before clearing northwards later.

26th to 31st:

The 26th started dry, but wind and rain spread from the west to most areas during the afternoon. Most areas were wet and windy again on 27th, only the north-east staying dry. The 28th was windy, with frequent blustery and heavy showers in the west, but mainly dry in the east. It was breezy again on 29th with frequent showers in the west, but drier in the east. The 30th was dry at first but strong to gale-force winds and heavy rain spread from the west later with a gust of 59 mph reported at Stornoway (Hebrides). It remained windy on 31st and rain again spread across the country.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

The month began mild, though unsettled with showers and periods of rain. The second week of the month was mostly drier and brighter, but also cooler. More unsettled conditions then returned from mid-month.

Temperatures for the month were above average, with the mean temperature 1.4 °C above the 1981-2010 average. Rainfall was mostly above average, especially so in the south-east of the province. The overall figure was 132% of the long-term average. Sunshine amounts were around average; the figure for the province overall was 107%.

1st to 7th:

Rain in the north on 1st soon cleared away before further showery rain spread from the south-west. A succession of fronts then affected all areas as they moved north-eastwards across the country, bringing some heavy spells of rain later on 1st and into 2nd. 26 mm of rain was recorded at Stormont (County Down). It remained cloudy with scattered showers for the rest of 2nd. The 3rd was dull and wet, and it continued cloudy with scattered showers on 4th. It was mainly dry with some sunshine on 5th. There were showers overnight into 6th, but it became mainly dry until rain arrived later in southern counties. Early rain on 7th cleared to give a dry morning but a narrow band of rain affected most areas for a time in the afternoon.

8th to 15th:

It was mainly dry and cloudy on 8th after some early rain in the north. Rain early on 9th cleared southwards to leave a cold and bright northerly airflow. The 10th and 11th were generally fine and dry with plenty of sunshine, with a touch of overnight frost in western districts on 11th. It was cloudier on 12th, though still dry, and brighter again on 13th. The 14th and 15th were mainly dry and bright.

16th to 31st:

Rain spread from the west to most areas by the morning of 16th, persisting for much of the day and becoming heavy in places; 27.8 mm was recorded at Murlough (County Down). A mainly dry, bright and mild day followed on 17th. Most areas had periods of rain on 18th. The 19th and 20th were days of sunshine and showers. A band of heavy rain moved in from the south on 21st, with Aldergrove (County Antrim) recording 24 mm. The 22nd and 23rd were breezy, with scattered blustery showers for most areas. It was dry and fine at first on 24th but bands of rain, some heavy, moved in from the south later, persisting overnight into 25th; Killowen and Glenanne (County Down) measured 28 mm. The 25th became mainly dry and bright, until further rain affected all areas in the evening. The 26th started dry but rain spread from the west later and winds strengthened from the south-west. The 27th to 29th saw a mix of showers, heavy at times in the north, and brighter spells. Strong west then north-westerly winds at first, falling lighter again during 29th. The 30th started dry but a band of rain moved eastwards from late morning, clearing quickly in the brisk westerly wind. It was a bright day with scattered showers on 31st.

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