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October 2014

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

The image below is from the NERC Satellite Receiving Station, Dundee University. This shows a deep area of low pressure in mid-Atlantic on 14 October 2014, leading to a mild south-westerly flow across the UK (at top right of image) around mid-month.

Satellite image of a deep area of low pressure in mid-Atlantic on 14 October 2014

The analysis chart on 14 October 2014 also shows this deep area of low pressure in mid-Atlantic.

Analysis chart at 1200 GMT 14 October 2014

UK overview

October came as quite a contrast to the previous month, as the weather became unsettled and wet by the 3rd and remained so through the majority of the month, interspersed with only short periods of drier weather. With winds frequently from the south, this October was another month with well above average temperatures, and notably warm on the 31st.

The UK mean temperature was 11.1 °C, which is 1.6 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average. This made it the equal- tenth warmest October for the UK in a series since 1910, and only marginally cooler than the Octobers of 2011 and 2013. Rainfall was above average in some areas, particularly across much of Scotland and Cumbria, with double the long-term average around the Solway Firth and the Isle of Man. The overall UK rainfall was 125% of average. Sunshine was rather below normal overall, with a UK figure of 90%, and the sunniest areas relative to average were Northern Ireland, the Western Isles of Scotland and the east coast of England.

A maximum temperature of 23.6 °C was recorded at Gravesend (Kent) and at Kew Gardens (Greater London) on the 31st. A minimum temperature of -3.7 °C was recorded at Altnaharra (Sutherland) on the 13th. In the 24 hours ending at 0900 GMT on the 4th, 126.6 mm of rain fell at Honister Pass (Cumbria). A wind gust of 84 mph was recorded at South Uist (Western Isles) on the 6th.

Weather impacts

The month was generally unsettled, with various events causing impacts in certain areas. One particularly active weather system crossed the UK during the night of 5th/6th, with strong winds and large amounts of rainfall.

Persistent rain moved north into southern England and the Midlands on the evening of Sunday 12th and into Monday 13th, with some heavy showery bursts, enough to cause localised flooding.

The remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo blew into the UK on the night of the 20th/21st, with warnings of disruption due to strong winds as well as localised heavy rainfall, most especially over the northern half of the UK. With trees still in leaf some disruption and damage was caused by falling trees and a woman was killed by a falling tree in Knightsbridge (London).

Beginning on the 25th, there was heavy frontal rainfall over much of western Scotland, giving some unusually high totals over a three-day period with 200 mm in some places during this time. There were consequent concerns over flooding leading to an Amber warning for the 25th, and some disruption caused by landslides.

England diary of highlights

The month was predominantly unsettled, with strong winds and rain a recurring feature, but these winds were generally from a southerly direction so it was mild, especially in the second half. Rainfall was above average, most especially over Cumbria, but with less in the way of rain during the final third of the month.

The mean temperature for the month was 1.9 °C above the 1981-2010 average, making it the equal-seventh warmest October in a series since 1910. Rainfall overall was 112% of average but parts of Cumbria received more than twice the normal rainfall amount. Sunshine amounts were below average for central and western areas, with an overall figure of 90% of average.

1st to 6th:

A fragmented band of rain spread from the west on the morning of the 1st but very little of this reached eastern areas. The 2nd was mainly dry and cloudy in most areas, the best of any sunshine in the east. A low pressure system on the 3rd brought strong winds and heavy rain to many areas; western coasts saw gusts approaching 50 mph, and rain was heavy in the north-west with 96 mm recorded at Drumburgh and Bridgefoot (both Cumbria). A further band of rain spread from the west during the morning of the 4th, reaching the south-east by late afternoon. It was brighter and drier on the 5th with only a few isolated showers in the west. A deep area of low pressure on the 6th brought strong winds and rain to much of the country, with gusts to around 60 mph in western areas, the rain clearing eastern areas by dusk.

7th to 15th:

The 7th was dry for much of the south, apart from scattered showers in coastal areas, but northern areas saw a few heavy showers and longer spells of rain. The 8th brought sunny spells and heavy showers, with thunder mainly in central and western areas. The showers were still heavy but more scattered on the 9th with eastern areas largely escaping them, but there were thunderstorms in southern areas. The 10th was generally drier and brighter, but with isolated showers in southern and western areas. The 11th was another showery day, especially in central areas. The 12th started fine, but an area of rain and strong winds spread from the south in the afternoon, reaching the Midlands by evening, with Okehampton (Devon) recording 34 mm and much of the south-east seeing over 25 mm. Many areas were wet and windy on the 13th with strong winds in eastern coastal areas and Winchcombe (Gloucestershire) recording 43 mm of rain. By the 14th, winds were lighter, and rain was more patchy but still persistent in the West Country. A band of rain spread from the south-west on the morning of the 15th, clearing to the east by mid-afternoon but leaving some heavy showers for southern areas.

16th to 20th:

The 16th was generally drier and brighter, with showers mainly in the west; the 17th was largely dry with sunny spells, and temperatures up to 20 °C in London and Essex. An area of rain reached the far south-west by the evening, clearing away early on the 18th to leave a breezy day with scattered showers. It became warm in the east, with places in Kent and Essex reaching 22 °C. On the 19th there were scattered showers in the north and west, driven in by a strong westerly wind. An area of rain spread from the west during the morning of the 20th which lingered around Humberside for much of the day, and there were isolated showers in the south.

21st to 25th:

The 21st was a stormy day, with a deep depression bringing strong winds and showers to many areas. The strongest winds were around the coasts, with Needles (Isle of Wight) recording a gust of 70 mph. Winds decreased during the 22nd but a band of rain spread from the north-west during the afternoon to reach the south-east by dusk. The 23rd saw patchy light rain, mainly in the west and south, driven on by a fresh westerly wind with the east seeing the best of any sunshine. The 24th remained unsettled with scattered showers or longer spells of rain for the west and south in the morning, transferring east during the afternoon. The 25th was a day of sunshine and scattered showers, remaining breezy in the north.

26th to 31st:

The 26th was mainly dry, with only Cumbria and the Borders seeing any rain; south-westerly winds meant a mild day for most. The 27th was mainly dry and bright, with temperatures in central London reaching 20 °C. A band of rain edged in from the north-west during the 28th, but southern areas remained mainly dry. Most of the country was bright and dry on the 29th but rain affected the far south for much of the day. The 30th was generally cloudy but mild with temperatures in the south reaching 20°C. The 31st was mainly dry with sunny spells and very mild with Gravesend (Kent) and Kew Gardens (Greater London) recording 23.6 °C, this being the warmest Halloween on record for the UK.

Wales diary of highlights

The month was generally unsettled with a mild and moist airflow for much of the time; temperatures were often well above average, particularly at the end of the month.

The mean temperature for the month was 1.7 °C above the 1981-2010 average. Rainfall overall was 105% of the average total. Sunshine amounted to 83% of the long-term average.

1st to 6th:

The 1st was cloudy with some patchy light rain or showers through the day. The 2nd was dry with periods of sunshine. The last of the warm days was the 3rd, with 21.5 °C at Hawarden Airport (Flintshire), but increasing cloud brought rain into the far north-west by late evening. This rain continued into the 4th, clearing by late morning to leave a dry afternoon. The 5th was dry but for some isolated showers, until heavy rain and winds increasing to near gale-force reached the west in the evening, clearing by late morning on the 6th; winds eased after that but with showers in the west by the evening.

7th to 19th:

The 7th was wet at first with rain clearing through by late morning followed by sunshine and showers. Further showers fell on the 8th, merging into a longer period of rain for a time around midday. The 9th was generally cloudy with showers, and the 10th was showery too but with more sunny spells. The 11th again saw showers, mostly in the south. Sunshine at first on the 12th but becoming cloudy with rain into the south-east by the evening. The 13th was cloudy, with rain in the south becoming more extensive by late afternoon. The 14th was dull, with morning rain in the south-east, but there was some sunshine in the far west. The 15th started dry but a band of rain from the south-west passed through late morning and through the afternoon, clearing by the evening. Rain in the early hours of the 16th died out, giving way to sunshine and showers. The 17th started with isolated showers, becoming dry with a little sunshine before clouding over as a band of rain crossed Wales towards evening. Rain spread from the south during the early hours of the 18th, turning to showers with a little sunshine particularly in the north. Some sunshine on the 19th, but also showers which were most frequent inland.

20th to 22nd:

Some rain in the north on the 20th gave way to showers, with an increasing west to south-west wind. The 21st was rather stormy, with rain in the early hours giving way to frequent showers, and a gale-force wind, gusting to 70 mph at Aberdaron (Gwynedd). Another area of rain passed through on the 22nd, clearing in the afternoon but remaining cloudy.

23rd to 31st:

The 23rd was cloudy with patchy rain or drizzle, becoming more persistent in the afternoon over the west and south. Cloudy on the 24th with some rain in the south-east. The 25th was cloudy with light showers and a strong to near-gale-force wind at times. Dull but mainly dry on the 26th with a strong to gale-force wind at times especially on exposed coasts. The 27th was dry and cloudy. Cloudy again on the 28th with rain in the north and west during the afternoon but clearing by the evening. The 29th was cloudy with patchy outbreaks of rain in the south, but brighter in the north, albeit clouding over here too with patchy rain in all parts by the evening. Cloudy again on the 30th with patchy rain eventually dying out by mid-afternoon. The 31st was largely fine, and very warm for the time of year with 22.0 °C recorded at Betws-Y-Coed (Gwynedd).

Scotland diary of highlights

The month was generally unsettled, with strong winds and heavy rain at times. Although there were a few days of drier weather as mid-month approached, some large rainfall totals were recorded in certain areas during 3rd to 7th and 24th to 27th. It was mostly mild, with few frosts, but very windy for several successive days later in the month.

The mean temperature for the month was 1.2 °C above the 1981-2010 average. Rainfall overall was 142% of average, making it the equal-third wettest October over Scotland in the historical series since 1910, and the wettest October for Scotland since 1954. Sunshine amounts were 87% of average overall, but slightly above average for the Western Isles.

1st to 8th:

There was rain in the east early on the 1st, with scattered showers in the west. The 2nd was mainly dry, but with some rain or showers in the west. It was windy on the 3rd, with rain spreading across the country through the day and becoming heavy in the south: 74.8 mm was recorded at Eskdalemuir (Dumfries and Galloway). It remained windy on the 4th, the rain in the east gradually clearing away, but with showers in the west. The strong winds continued on the 5th with rain or showers for many areas but especially in the west. Another wet and windy day on the 6th with rain for all areas during the morning but becoming more showery in the afternoon, with a 74 mph gust of wind recorded at Inverbervie (Aberdeenshire). Very wet and windy in the north on the 7th, with 72.2 mm of rain recorded at Cawdor Castle (Highland), but mainly dry in the south. It was another wet day in the north on the 8th, and further rain spread into southern areas later.

9th to 17th:

Showers or longer spells of rain for most areas on the 9th but it was less windy. It was wet in the west on the 10th with rain gradually spreading further east through the day. The 11th was dry for most areas apart from a few scattered showers especially in the north. A dry start for many areas on the 12th, but showers in the north became more widespread through the day. Eastern parts of the country had showers, or longer spells of rain on the 13th, but it was drier and brighter in the west. Mainly dry on the 14th with only a few scattered showers especially in the north and east. A generally dry day on the 15th with some scattered showers, and some rain in the south-west later. Rain for most areas on the 16th gradually eased, but more rain pushed into the south-west later in the evening. A showery day in the south on the 17th but rain in the north gradually cleared away.

18th to 31st:

It was a windy day on the 18th with frequent blustery showers for most areas. Wind and rain for most of the country on the 19th but becoming more showery later. The 20th was another breezy day, with frequent showers or longer spells of rain especially in the west. Strong to gale-force winds overnight into the 21st and through the day, with overnight rain clearing to the east during the morning followed by frequent blustery showers for most areas apart from the south-east, and feeling cold. Another wet and windy day on the 22nd as a weather system moved east across the country through the day. There was rain for most areas at some point on the 23rd, especially the west and the Central Highlands. There were showers or longer spells of rain on the 24th but it was drier in the east. The 25th was very windy, with frequent heavy showers for central and western areas. It was very windy again on the 26th with strong to gale-force winds across the country, and gusts of 69 mph recorded at both Inverbervie (Aberdeenshire) and Loch Glascarnoch (Highland); heavy rain fell for most areas apart from the eastern fringes, with 80.0 mm of rain recorded at Tyndrum (Perthshire). Another very windy day on the 27th with heavy rain in the west and 96.0 mm recorded at Achnagart (Highland), but mainly dry in the east. A wet and windy start for most on the 28th as a broad band of heavy rain accompanied by strong to gale-force winds moved south across the country, clearing Scotland during the afternoon. Most areas were dry on the 29th but the west had a few showers. A wet day for most areas on the 30th with the heaviest rain in the north, but this gradually cleared during the afternoon. It was warm on the 31st with rain in the north and west but dry in the south and east, and an unseasonably high maximum temperature of 19.0 °C at Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

Much of the month was unsettled, after a fine start, but temperatures were predominantly above average. There were some spells with strong winds and some heavy rain events through the month.

The mean temperature for the month was 0.9 °C above the 1981-2010 average. This was a rather wet month towards the east of the Province, with an overall figure of 112% of the long-term average rainfall. The overall sunshine total was 104% of the long-term average sunshine hours.

1st to 5th:

After some rain in the early hours of the 1st, it was fine and mainly dry for the first two days, but as high pressure slipped away south-eastwards during the 2nd, winds strengthened from the south-west. Rain spread in overnight, heavy at times and persistent, before slowly clearing southwards during the afternoon of the 3rd. More heavy rain overnight was followed by a mainly dry, sunny day on the 4th with a few scattered showers in the afternoon. Strong southerly winds developed on the 5th with a few scattered blustery showers.

6th to 9th:

There were gusts up to 70 mph and heavy and persistent rain overnight on the 6th (Ballypatrick, County Antrim measured 38.6 mm) clearing north-eastwards as winds abated and swung to a south-westerly by morning leaving behind sunshine and a few showers. Rain affected eastern and northern areas overnight on the 7th but a dry, sunny day followed. Patchy rain at first in the south on the 8th extended north-west and became persistent, heavy in the east with 25.8 mm recorded at Lough Fea (County Londonderry). On the 9th, showers confined to the north overnight became more widespread during the day, heavy around Belfast for a time.

10th to 14th:

There were scattered showers and sunshine for the 10th. Mainly dry and bright inland on the 11th but scattered showers affected the north and east at times. The 12th to 14th were dry and bright days but rain spread east in the evening of the 14th.

15th to 27th:

Patchy rain at first on the 15th was followed by more general rain pushing north-east during the afternoon, heavy at times in the east, and winds became strong from the south-east before turning south-westerly. Showers continued into the 16th, heaviest and most persistent in the east with 41.4 mm recorded at Killylane (County Antrim). Bright and breezy on the 17th before rain pushed north-eastwards from late afternoon and became heavy at times, continuing into the night. The rain cleared early on the 18th, to leave a bright day with blustery showers. Winds continued strong on the 19th and 20th with rain or showers followed by plenty of dry, bright weather in the daytime. Bands of rain cleared away northwards in the early hours of the 21st, leaving behind colder showery weather as winds turned north-westerly and strengthened to gale force with gusts up to 70 mph on coasts. Rain moved in quickly from the north-west on the 22nd, becoming patchy before dying out in the afternoon with winds easing. Apart from some rain for a time in the afternoon, the 23rd was mainly dry and bright. Overcast with scattered showers on the 24th. The 25th and 26th were mainly dry but the south-westerly winds reached gale force at times, with a gust of 56 mph 49kt at Killowen (County Down). It was overcast and breezy on the 27th with rain overnight and for a time in the afternoon.

28th to 31st:

As overnight rain cleared on the 28th, winds veered north-westerly leaving behind cold and clear conditions. After a touch of air frost in places on the 29th, a dry and fine day ensued. Rain overnight into the 30th was followed by a few scattered showers and mild southerly winds. After a dry start on the 31st, rain spread from the west during the afternoon.

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