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October 2015

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

UK climate video

UK overview

For much of October the weather was influenced by high pressure bringing periods of dry, settled weather and some good spells of sunshine, but with some overnight frost and fog. However, it was more unsettled with spells of rain from 5th to the 7th, and it was unsettled again for the last third of the month, but generally mild in a mostly westerly or southerly flow.

The UK mean temperature was 10.0 °C, which is 0.5 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average. Maximum temperatures were above average, especially in the far north-west, but minimum temperatures were mostly close to average. It was a notably dry month in the west and north with less than a third of average rainfall in a few locations. The UK overall received 57% of average rainfall and it was the driest October since 2007. Sunshine totals were below average in the south and east but above average in the north-west.

The UK monthly extremes were as follows: A maximum temperature of 22.7 °C was recorded at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) on the 1st, and a minimum temperature of -5.0 °C was recorded at Braemar on the 17th. In the 24 hours ending at 0900 GMT on the 7th, 64.6 mm of rain fell at Rivington, Lancashire. Wind gusts of 69 mph were recorded at South Uist (Western Isles) and Kirkwall (Orkney) on the 22nd.

Weather impacts

The mostly settled weather resulted in another relatively quiet month with few weather impacts.

High pressure during the first few days led to patches of fog, causing some localised flight disruption, traffic delays and longer journey times.

On the evening of the 6th, heavy rain caused some localised transport disruption in Cornwall. This was followed by further heavy rain on the 7th across eastern England. The A1 northbound carriageway was temporarily closed near Catterick in Yorkshire due to flash flooding, and some rail services in parts of the north of England were delayed or cancelled. Localised flooding was reported in parts of Leeds, Bradford, York and Worksop.

On 22nd, strong winds led to some disruption across the north of the UK - although not unusual at this time of year. Fallen trees caused localised road closures in northern Scotland, ferry services were affected and there was also some disruption to rail services due to debris on the network.

On the 28th, persistent heavy rain caused some flooding on road and rail networks across the southeast, with problems reported in parts of Kent, Essex, London and Cambridgeshire.

England diary of highlights

October began dry and sunny with high pressure in charge. The rest of the month was mostly dry and settled with variable amounts of cloud, but there were unsettled spells from the 5th to the 7th and from the 21st onwards.

The mean temperature for October was 0.4 °C above the long-term average. It was a dry month with 66% of average rainfall, but totals were near average for eastern England from Cambridgeshire to Northumberland. Sunshine was 89% of average, and it was a rather cloudy month for many southern and eastern areas.

1st to 4th:

High pressure dominated the weather from the 1st to the 3rd. The 1st and 2nd were dry and sunny across most of the country, but most regions were cloudier on the 3rd. The 4th continued dry but generally cloudy for most, although rain edged in to the south-west in the late afternoon and spread eastwards.

5th to 7th:

A band of rain spread northwards from the Midlands during the morning of the 5th and some heavy showers developed in south-western areas during the afternoon with persistent rain developing in the south-east. Heavy showers again developed in central and southern areas on the 6th, with isolated thunderstorms in the Midlands, but the north was mostly dry until showers spread from the south in the evening. The 7th remained unsettled and it was mostly cloudy, with the rain now heaviest in the north and east but more patchy in other areas.

8th to 15th:

The 8th was generally dry, with any showers restricted to Cornwall and Devon. It was mainly dry on the 9th with the best of any sunshine in the south-east. The 10th was another mainly dry and bright day, with only isolated showers for the east coast and the Midlands. The 11th was dry with plenty of sunshine and quite warm. Overnight rain cleared the north during the morning of the 12th to leave most of the country dry and sunny, but showers spread south through eastern coastal areas. High pressure brought mainly dry and bright weather on the 13th but scattered light showers continued to affect eastern coastal areas. There was a cold and foggy start in many areas on the 14th, with temperatures falling to -2.9 °C at Shap (Cumbria), followed by a mostly dry sunny day, but showers continued over eastern areas, becoming quite frequent and heavy across East Anglia. Showers spread further inland on the 15th, but turned lighter and more scattered.

16th to 23rd:

The 16th was mainly dry but cloudy after another foggy start in places, although some showers affected mainly Kent and Norfolk. The 17th was again generally dry and cloudy but isolated showers developed in central areas and the coastal fringes of the south-east during the afternoon. Isolated showers again affected the Midlands and southern areas on the 18th, but the rest of the country was dry, with sunny spells in the south but more cloud elsewhere. The west and north saw the best of the dry and bright weather on the 19th, with more cloud and isolated showers again in central and southern areas. The 20th was dry with plenty of sunshine, and temperatures in the mid-teens. A band of overnight rain cleared the south by early afternoon on the 21st to leave a mainly bright but breezy afternoon. A small ridge of high pressure edged in on the 22nd to bring a bright day in the north, thought it was cloudier further south, with fresh westerly winds. It was mainly cloudy on the 23rd with patchy light rain in the north-west and brisk south-west winds.

24th to 31st:

There were areas of rain in western and central areas during the morning of the 24th but these moved slowly east to leave a brighter afternoon for western areas. It was mainly dry on the 25th, with sunny spells except in the north-west. The 26th was again mainly dry but rain edged into the far south-west during the afternoon and made slow progress east. Much of the east remained dry on the 27th but rain edged into the south-west in the morning, becoming more fragmented as it moved slowly north-eastwards. The 28th saw another area of rain over central areas move slowly north during the afternoon. It was mainly overcast on the 29th with patchy rain or drizzle in many areas, but still generally mild with temperatures in the mid to high teens. The 30th was again unsettled with a wet morning for many areas, the rain easing off slowly during the afternoon. The 31st was mainly dry, with the best of any sunshine in the east and south in the afternoon, and it was very mild.

Wales diary of highlights

October began dry and settled with high pressure in charge, and variable amounts of cloud. With just a brief interruption from the 5th to the 7th, the weather remained mostly dry and settled until the 20th, with sunny spells but some overnight fog. From the 21st onwards the weather was mild and changeable with mainly south-westerly winds.

The mean temperature for October was 0.3 °C above the long-term average. Rainfall was 42% of average, the driest October since 2007. Wales had 99% of average sunshine, while sunshine totals were generally above normal in the south but below normal in the north-east.

1st to 4th:

It was generally dry and sunny on the 1st, after a foggy start. The 2nd and 3rd were dry too but there was more in the way of cloud on these days. It was dry and sunny again on the 4th, before cloud and rain moved up from the south in the evening.

5th to 12th:

The 5th started cloudy and wet with rain spreading north followed by some heavy showers in the evening, again spreading north. The 6th was a day of sunny spells and heavy, thundery showers. Heavy showers continued on the morning of the 7th, clearing east to leave a mainly dry afternoon with sunny spells. The 8th was mainly dry with sunny spells, although some isolated showers developed through the day. The 9th was a dry day but it was cloudy near western coasts, brighter further east. It was cloudy generally on the 10th with some light rain or showers affecting western coasts for most of the day. It was still cloudy on the 11th, but generally dry. A cold start to the 12th with some rural spots below freezing, followed by a bright, sunny day with just some isolated showers in the far north.

13th to 19th:

After another cold morning on the 13th with temperatures below freezing in places, it was a dry and sunny day. The 14th dawned cold with a frost in places, and also some mist and fog patches, but these cleared readily followed by a dry day with sunny spells. The 15th again started with fog and frost patches, soon clearing to leave a mostly dry day with some sunny spells, especially towards western areas. The 16th and 17th were rather cloudy but dry. It was cloudy with isolated outbreaks of very light rain on the 18th and 19th.

20th to 26th:

After a dry, bright and sunny start to the 20th, cloud increased and rain moved into the country by the evening. Heavy rain overnight into the 21st cleared away to leave a cloudy, mainly dry day with strong winds, gusting to over 50 mph particularly around northern coasts. A breezy, cloudy and dry day followed on the 22nd. The 23rd was again mainly cloudy and dry with some rain reaching the west in the evening. It was a cloudy and breezy start on the 24th, with heavy rain soon arriving in the west and spreading east. It turned drier and brighter on the afternoon of the 24th and into the 25th with lots of sunshine in the south, and a ground frost for some places overnight. Patchy light rain and strong winds developed in western coastal areas on the 26th but it stayed dry and mild elsewhere with temperatures reaching 17.7 °C at Valley (Anglesey).

27th to 31st:

Showery rain spread from the south-west on the 27th, but again it was mild. A bright, breezy day followed after early rain on the 28th, staying mild, with rain returning later. There was widespread rain on the morning of the 29th, but it became dry and breezy if somewhat overcast in the afternoon. After another wet and windy start everywhere on the 30th, it turned drier and brighter from mid-morning, with just a few isolated showery outbreaks during the afternoon. Cloudy and mild on the 31st, with some isolated drizzly rain.

Scotland diary of highlights

October began dry, settled and generally sunny with high pressure in charge. The weather remained mostly settled until the 20th, with some dry sunny spells but patches of frost and fog, although with some rain from the 5th to the 7th. The rest of the month was mild, changeable and windy at times.

The mean temperature for October was 0.8 °C above average, mainly due to high daytime maximum temperatures. It was the driest October since 2003, with 53% of average rainfall. Scotland had 117% of average sunshine; it was a particularly dry and sunny month across parts of the far north-west.

1st to 4th:

It was a foggy start in some places on the 1st, and it was cloudy with light rain for the Western and Northern Isles, but otherwise it was mainly dry and sunny with temperatures exceeding 20 °C in places. It was generally dry again on the 2nd and 3rd but with a little more cloud around, and it was noticeably cooler. The 4th saw cloud and patchy light rain for the Northern and Western Isles, and a foggy start over the south, but otherwise it was dry, bright, and sunny particularly over eastern areas.

5th to 13th:

The 5th started dry but rain soon spread northwards across the whole country, with heavy showers following on behind by the evening. The 6th was unsettled with heavy rain moving northwards across eastern areas, and scattered showers in the west. There was heavy persistent rain across the north-east on the 7th, with scattered showers through the spine of the country, but dry with sunny spells across western coastal areas. The 8th started cold with patchy frost and some fog patches, and rain across Shetland, but the rain and fog soon cleared and it became mainly dry with good sunny spells. Rain fell over western and northern parts all day on the 9th, but it was drier and sunnier further east especially over Grampian. It was a similar day over the country for the 10th but generally cloudier. All parts were cloudy with patchy rain on the 11th, and more general rain, occasionally heavy, crossed the country during the evening. This rain cleared eastern coastal areas during the morning of the 12th, followed by a mixture of sunshine and showers for all parts. A cold start on the 13th, temperatures below freezing in places, led to a sunny day but with scattered showers over eastern coasts.

14th to 19th:

The 14th dawned cold with a frost in places and also some mist and fog patches which cleared readily to leave a mainly dry day with some sunny spells. The 15th again started cold with fog and frost patches, soon clearing to give a mostly dry day with good sunny spells. There were cold starts on the 16th and 17th with temperatures below freezing in many places, and also some fog patches as well. These cleared to leave a mainly dry day on the 16th with sunny spells, and the 17th was also sunny in the north-west, but it was much cloudier in the south and east. It was cloudy, with patchy rain mainly over the east, but drier and brighter around Strathclyde, on the 18th. It was generally cloudy on the 19th with rain for most places, heaviest and most persistent over the Western Isles and the north-west Highlands.

20th to 26th:

After a dry bright start on the 20th, especially in the east, rain and strong winds moved in from the west in the afternoon. After overnight clearance of rain, the 21st was a warm, blustery, showery day, with gusts in excess of 60 mph over western and northern coasts, and temperatures reaching 21 °C east of the Grampians. It was mainly cloudy in the west with some showery rain on the 22nd, but brighter and drier in the east with some sunny spells, and windy with gusts up to 70 mph. A cloudy and breezy day followed on the 23rd, with rain arriving in the west. The 24th began cloudy and breezy, with rain in the west spreading eastwards. Brighter skies followed behind, with scattered heavy showers in the west. It was wet and windy in the west on the 25th, while southern and eastern regions stayed dry. It was windy but mild on the 26th with showers building from the south-west by the evening.

27th to 31st:

It stayed mild and sunny in north-western parts and mostly dry on the 27th but with rain in the south-west by the evening. Patchy rain spread from the south on the 28th and it was overcast and slightly cooler. Sunshine and showers followed a rainy start on the 29th, with gale-force gusts around exposed coastal locations. There was early rain in eastern areas on the 30th, clearing away northwards, leaving a bright, blustery day everywhere, with showers and gales over the mountains and Western Isles. It was wet across most areas to start on the 31st, becoming drier and brighter into the afternoon, but with patchy light rain persisting over the Western Isles.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

October began dry and settled and mostly sunny with high pressure dominating the weather. It was unsettled at times from the 5th to the 11th but there was another fine spell from the 12th to the 19th. The rest of the month was mild and changeable.

The mean temperature for October was 0.4 °C above the long-term average, due to warmer-than-average daytime maximum temperatures. It was a dry and sunny month overall, with 58% of average rainfall and 115% of average sunshine.

1st to 4th:

With high pressure firmly in charge, the 1st was dry and sunny after a foggy start in places. The 2nd and 3rd were also dry, but generally cloudier. Another dry sunny day followed on the 4th.

5th to 12th:

The 5th began cloudy and wet, with rain spreading north, and showers following on behind later. The 6th was a day of sunny spells and scattered showers. The 7th was mainly dry with sunny spells, but some isolated showers developed in the west. The 8th started cold with a patchy frost and some fog patches, soon clearing to leave a mainly dry day with sunny spells. It was cloudy on the 9th with isolated light rain or showers, and more general rain moved into western areas by early evening. The rain affected western parts of the Province during the morning of the 10th before clearing away, with cloud and a few isolated showers elsewhere. It was generally dry but cloudy with occasional showers on the 11th, and a more organised band of showers moving across during the evening. A cool start to the 12th, followed by a bright and sunny day with scattered showers.

13th to 19th:

After another cold morning with temperatures below freezing in places, the 13th was dry and sunny. The 14th dawned cold with a frost in places and also some mist and fog patches, but these cleared readily to leave a dry day with good sunny spells. The 15th again started with mist and frost patches, leading into a mostly dry day with some sunny spells, especially in eastern counties. There were frosty and foggy starts to the 16th and 17th, clearing on both days to leave dry weather with sunny spells, especially in the east. It was cloudy with sporadic outbreaks of light rain on the 18th and 19th.

20th to 26th:

After a dry, cloudy start to the 20th, rain, heavy and persistent in places and accompanied by strong winds, swept over the Province from late afternoon. The 21st was cloudy with occasional light rain, mild and rather windy, with gusts in excess of 45 mph especially around the coasts. The 22nd was a breezy, mainly cloudy and dry day. The 23rd started dry with some sunny spells in the east, but cloud and rain spread east through the day. Heavy rain in early morning spread eastwards on the 24th with brighter skies by late morning and some scattered showers. It was cloudy and windy on the 25th but stayed largely dry. After a dry start on the 26th, rain spread from the south-west in the afternoon accompanied by strong winds - gusts of 47 mph approaching gale force at Magilligan (County Londonderry).

27th to 31st:

It turned increasingly wet on the 27th, rain spreading northwards, and it was windy around exposed coasts. It was dry and sunny on the 28th and stayed mild. Following clearance of overnight rain, the 29th was dry and sunny but rather windy. After a wet start for the west of the Province on the 30th, it became drier everywhere with just occasional drizzle or showery rain from early afternoon. Light rain in places to begin with on the 31st cleared away by early afternoon, followed by drier and brighter weather.

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