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October 2016

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

UK Overview

On the first day of the month a shallow depression tracked east across Wales and then England, bringing some rain, but after that all parts of the UK became predominantly dry, as high pressure took charge. For much of the time the high was centred over Scandinavia, bringing easterly winds, and restricting temperatures to near the seasonal average but with plenty of sunshine, especially in western areas. As the second week of the month progressed, increasing numbers of showers encroached from the east, and around 15th-17th the weather was more generally unsettled with a depression making its influence felt. Thereafter there was again a build of pressure, giving mostly fine weather, though fog affected parts of England and Wales, particularly in the south, while frontal systems affected north-west Scotland as the month approached its end. The last four days of the month were notably mild over much of England & Wales

The UK mean temperature was 9.8 °C, which is 0.3 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average.Mean maximum temperatures were a little above average in the north-west, and mean minimum temperatures were a little above average in north-east England, Lincolnshire and Norfolk. It was a dry October with just 37% of average rainfall overall and the equal-fifth driest October in a series from 1910. However rainfall totals were closer to average in coastal parts of eastern Scotland, north-east England, Lincolnshire and Norfolk. Sunshine was mostly near average in the east and above average in the west, and it was exceptionally sunny in northern Scotland which recorded its sunniest October on record in a series from 1929. The UK as a whole had 114% of average sunshine.

The UK monthly extremes were as follows:  A maximum temperature of 22.2 °C was recorded at Trawscoed (Dyfed) on the 31st.  A minimum temperature of -5.0 °C was recorded at Tulloch Bridge (Highland) on the 25th.  In the 24 hours ending at 0900 GMT on the 14th, 49.8 mm of rain fell at Killylane (Antrim).  A wind gust of 56 knots (64 mph) was recorded at Sella Ness (Shetland) on the 28th.

Weather impacts

There were heavy showers and thunderstorms across much of England and Wales on the 1st.  Localised disruption was reported in Cambridgeshire, with flooding and two reported surface water related accidents on the A14. A lightning strike caused a property fire in Northants, and localised road flooding was reported between Thanet and Canterbury in Kent.     

There followed a long period of benign weather until mid-month, when on the 15th, rain over Perthshire, Angus and south Aberdeenshire caused the cancellation of a number of events due to flooding, and created surface water and difficult driving conditions on the roads. 

On the 24th, heavy showers and longer outbreaks of rain affected Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.  Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service reported receiving more than thirty reports of flash flooding in the space of an hour, due to drainage systems not being able to cope with the volume of water. A few cars were stranded in flood water in Falmouth, and two women escaped after their vehicle became trapped in flood water. Diggers were brought in to clear mud from a roundabout on one of Cornwall’s main roads during the late afternoon. This caused serious traffic disruption between Falmouth and Penryn.    

From the 25th onwards, fog was a recurring issue, especially across southern England.  The fog slowed down road traffic in the affected areas and caused delays on ferries to/from the Isle of Wight. The main impact was on aviation, with delays and cancellations across many airports in southern and central England at times, including the London ones. This led to secondary impacts, with consequent disruption to air travel in other parts of the UK and Europe.

England Diary of Highlights

October began wet in the south with low pressure moving across the country, but an easterly type became established by the 3rd, and the rest of the month had mostly easterly winds, which brought showers into many eastern coastal areas, but plenty of sunshine for the west and especially the south-west.  The weather turned more unsettled between the 15th and 19th.  For most of the month temperatures were mostly near or a little below normal, but it was warm at the end of the month.

The mean temperature for October was  0.2 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average.  Rainfall was close to average in counties bordering the North Sea from Norfolk northwards, but it was a dry October elsewhere, with 40% of average rainfall overall.  Sunshine was 108% of average, with sunshine generally near average in the east and above average in the west, especially north Cornwall.

1st to 5th

The 1st started wet across Cornwall and Devon with heavy rain moving east and north into Hampshire, the Midlands and across into East Anglia and the south-east, showers following on behind; drier and brighter over northern England but still with a few heavy showers. A chilly start to the 2nd made way for a mainly dry and sunny day with a few showers lingering on across East Anglia during the morning.  Early frost and fog in places on the 3rd cleared to leave a sunny day everywhere, with Shoeburyness (Essex) recording 10.9hrs. It was cloudy all day over the south-west on the 4th, but bright or sunny elsewhere. There was a cloudy start with some spots of rain and drizzle over the south-west and the north on the 5th, but it turned bright or sunny everywhere by the afternoon.

6th to 14th

It was generally brighter in the west on the 6th, but cloud spread from the east, this thick enough to produce patchy light rain or drizzle in places. The 7th was cloudy overall with rain for parts of the south-west and most eastern counties. It was similar on the 8th with patchy rain for the south with some locally heavy showers in the south-east. The 9th was a brighter day, showery across eastern regions, staying dry in the south-west. It was increasingly showery on the 10th but showers were largely confined to the eastern half of the country. There was fog and frost to start for central areas on the 11th, showers persisting along eastern counties, and it was cloudy in the north-east, but sunny over the south. The 12th was cooler, cloudier and increasingly showery.  The 13th was similar, but with fewer showers over the south. The 14th continued unsettled with scattered showers confined to northern and south-western regions and heavier rain in the far south-west towards evening.

15th to 19th

A dry and bright start on the 15th but rain reached the south-west during the morning and spread east during the afternoon.  A wet start for southern areas on the 16th but the rain spread quickly north during the day to leave a bright afternoon with isolated showers. The 17th was quite a warm day, with sunshine and scattered showers. Sunny spells on the 18th with a cooler northerly breeze, turning showery across northern parts. Sunny spells but staying rather cool on the 19th with showers across the north-east and rain edging into East Anglia.

20th to 24th

It was cool and rather cloudy into the 20th with showers spreading inland off the North Sea. There were showers across eastern parts again on the 21st but largely dry elsewhere and sunny across the south-west peninsula.  The 22nd was a showery day for the east and later for the Midlands but dry in the south with a few bright intervals.  Showers in the north and Midlands on the 23rd became confined to the north-east later but rain and wind moved into the south-west during the evening, Slapton (Devon) recording 48.7mm of rain, and the wind gusted to 54mph at Culdrose (Cornwall).   After a cold start in places, Shap (Cumbria) falling to -1.9°C, a dry day followed for most on the 24th but rain in the south-west moved north into the Midlands, and there were some showers in the north-east.

25th to 31st

The 25th started frosty across the north Pennines and a bright day followed in the north, but it was milder with patchy rain over the Solent and turned rainy across the north-west later. There was occasional sunshine on the 26th but it was largely cloudy, and quite warm for the time of year with 20.0 °C at Needles Old Battery (Isle of Wight). It stayed warm but cloudy into the 27th and largely dry in the south but with patchy rain across the north-west. There were sunny spells across the south-east on the 28th but it was cloudy elsewhere and stayed warm with 18.2 °C recorded at Nantwich (Cheshire).  Generally cloudy with light rain or drizzle in most central and western parts on the 29th, drier and brighter along the east coast.  It was foggy around the Home Counties until late morning on the 30th, otherwise generally cloudy, with patchy rain for the north.  Widespread fog on the 31st cleared by mid-afternoon, leaving a bright or sunny and warm day, with a maximum of 20.7 °C at Hampton (Greater London).

Wales Diary of Highlights

October began with a wet day with low pressure in charge, but this soon cleared away, and easterly winds prevailed for most of the rest of the month, bringing near or slightly below average temperatures and mostly dry weather, with plenty of sunshine in the west and south.  It briefly turned more unsettled between the 15th and 19th.  The month ended dry and increasingly warm but often mostly cloudy.

The mean temperature for October was 0.2 °C above the 1981-2010 average. It was a dry October with just 27% of average rainfall, making it the sixth driest October in a series from 1910.  Sunshine was close to average in the north-east, but well above average in the south-west, with 117% of average overall.

1st to 10th

The 1st was a day of heavy rain, clearing east around lunchtime to be replaced by heavy, blustery showers. A chilly start to the 2nd with a few mist and fog patches made way for a dry and sunny day, and St Athan (South Glamorgan) recorded 10.7 hours of bright sunshine.  Fog in central parts cleared to leave another sunny day for the 3rd.  It started cloudy on the 4th but became sunny by the afternoon.  The 5th was sunny all day.  Sunny again on the 6th but it turned cloudier away from the west in the afternoon with some light rain in places. 

7th to 14th

It was cloudy all day with some isolated patchy light rain on the 7th and the 8th. The 9th was sunny, warmer, and largely dry. The 10th was breezier with sunny periods but it was showery in the north-west. It was sunny down the west coast on the 11th, but cloudier elsewhere with showers for the north in the afternoon.  The 12th was warmer with sunny spells but breezy across coastal regions and turned showery later. It was cooler, cloudier and more showery on the 13th. There were scattered showers and sunny spells throughout on the 14th.

15th to 19th

The 15th began wet but it cleared up with a brighter afternoon before more rain arrived in the evening. Rain spread north on the morning of the 16th, with 24.4 mm at Llysdinam (Powys), sunshine and showers following and isolated thunderstorms in the south and north-west which produced a gust of wind to 54 mph at Aberdaron (Gwynedd). The 17th and 18th were cooler days, with sunshine and showers. It was mostly dry but fairly cloudy on the 19th, with early showers over northern and western coastal fringes.

20th to 27th

It was quite mild across the south-west on the 20th but cooler elsewhere with isolated showers in the north-east. The 21st was mostly dry, with sunny spells across the south-west.  After a cold night, with -1.2°C at Sennybridge (Powys), the 22nd was mostly dry again, and sunniest in the west.  The 23rd saw scattered showers or longer spells of rain in the north in the afternoon.  Showers or patchy rain affected many areas on the 24th with a more general area of rain moving into the south later. The 25th was a dry but cloudy day, and turned wet later. It was windy across northern parts on the 26th but largely dry if cloudy throughout. Another mild day on the 27th but cloudy overall and breezy in the north with evening showers across Gwynedd.

28th to 31st

It was mostly dry throughout, if cloudy, on the 28th, and stayed mild overnight.  Patchy fog early on the 29th cleared to leave a cloudy day with light rain in places.  It was cloudy on the 30th with some light rain for the north from late morning.  It was sunny in the west after clearance of widespread fog on the 31st, and warm, with a maximum of 22.2 °C at Trawsgoed (Dyfed), but cloudier and cooler in the east.

Scotland Diary of Highlights

October began quiet with a weak area of high pressure in charge.  Easterly winds then prevailed for most of the month, bringing dry sunny weather to the north-west and cloudier showery weather to the east, though a westerly Atlantic influence briefly developed on the 15th-17th and from the 25th onwards.

The mean temperature for October was 0.5°C above the long-term average.  Except near the east coast, the positive anomaly was largely due to high daytime maxima, and the mean minimum temperature for Scotland was exactly average.  Except near the east coast and in Aberdeenshire, it was a dry sunny month, with 38% of average rainfall and 128% of average sunshine, making it the fourth driest and equal-third sunniest October in records from 1910 and 1929 respectively.  For Northern Scotland it was the sunniest October in the series.

1st to 6th

The 1st was a day of sunny spells, with some scattered showers across Aberdeenshire at first which became more widespread through the afternoon, dying away in the evening. The 2nd started chilly with a few mist and fog patches, making way for a mainly dry and sunny day; Lerwick (Shetland) recorded 10.6 hours of bright sunshine.  Patchy fog cleared on the 3rd to leave the bulk of the country dry and sunny, but cloudier over the west.  It was generally cloudy on the 4th except in Fife, with some light rain or drizzle for Grampian and the far north-west.  Cloudy on the 5th, with patchy rain or drizzle for the Borders, becoming dry and bright by the afternoon and warm with a maximum of 19.4°C at Port Henderson (Ross & Cromarty).  It was sunny in the west on the 6th, cloudier in the east with some light rain and drizzle for the Borders by evening. 

7th to 11th

It was sunny for the north on the 7th, but cloudy elsewhere with rain or drizzle for eastern parts. The 8th was cloudy with rain for the west, sunny in central parts, and showery for the east coast. The 9th was generally dry but cloudy although there was patchy rain for the Western Isles and isolated showers in the south.  The 10th was dry for much of the day although cloudy; isolated showers developed mainly in the north in the afternoon.  It was cloudy with scattered showers persisting over the south and east on the 11th, drier and sunnier over the west and north.

12th to 17th
The 12th was showery across eastern parts with the best of the sunshine across the Hebrides. Cooler and breezier on the 13th with heavy showers, especially late in the day over Aberdeenshire and Grampian, with 41.1 mm recorded at the Lecht Ski Centre (Aberdeenshire). There were widespread showers on the 14th, merging into longer spells of rain in the east, and it was breezier in the north with early localised thunder in the far south-west. After a wet start on the 15th particularly further north, the rain cleared slowly during the afternoon. A dry but cloudy start on the 16th before a band of rain, heavy at times, spread from the south-west during the morning reaching the north-east during the afternoon with showers following on behind.  The 17th was a day of sunshine and showers.

18th to 24th

Generally dry on the 18th with isolated showers in the north but feeling cooler in a northerly breeze. It was cloudy and cool on the 19th with early showers across north-eastern parts, also developing in Borders later. A chilly start on the 20th in some Highland areas but a mainly dry and bright day followed.  It was cool and showery across North Sea coastal areas on the 21st with showers penetrating inland across Grampian, while it was largely cloudy but dry elsewhere. Another cool day on the 22nd with some rain in the Inner Hebrides at first and showers or longer spells of rain in the east spreading further inland through the day. Frequent showers in the east on the 23rd with a cold easterly wind but mainly dry in the west. The 24th was another showery day in the east, with the showers edging further west through the afternoon.

25th to 31st

There was a dry, bright start on the 25th when overnight temperatures dipped to -5.0 °C at Tulloch Bridge (Inverness-shire) before turning wet and windy across western parts later. The 26th was mild and windy, with rain in the west and gusts over 40mph in exposed western areas. Wet and windy across the north-west on the 27th with 54 mph wind gusts recorded at Fair Isle.  There were scattered showers across the Northern Isles on the 28th and windy with gusts reaching 64 mph at Sella Ness (Shetland), while elsewhere it was dry but fairly cloudy. Some fog in the south to start the 29th, clearing to leave the north and west cloudy and wet, but the east drier and brighter.  Cloudy with mainly light rain in most places to start the 30th, drying up in central parts in the afternoon but rain persisting around coasts. It was sunny over the Borders on the 31st, but cloudier elsewhere with persistent rain particularly for the far north.

Northern Ireland Diary of Highlights

October started with low pressure moving away eastwards, then easterly winds prevailed for most of the month, bringing mostly dry weather with variable amounts of cloud, and near-average temperatures.  It turned more unsettled between the 15th and 19th as a low pressure system tracked slowly north-eastwards, and the last week was mostly cloudy but increasingly warm, with high pressure and mainly westerly winds.

The mean temperature for October was 0.6 °C above the long-term average.  It was a dry month, particularly in the west, with 38% of average rainfall overall, the fifth driest October in a series from 1910.  Sunshine was near to slightly above average, with 102% of average overall.

1st to 7th

The 1st was a day of sunny spells, with a few scattered showers which died away to leave a sunny end to the day. It was a chilly start on the 2nd with a few mist and fog patches, then a dry and sunny day, and Magilligan (Londonderry) recorded 9.8 hours of bright sunshine.  It was cloudy on the 3rd with some rain for the west of the Province.  The 4th was cloudy but dry.  There was some patchy light rain or drizzle early on the 5th, but it turned bright or sunny in the afternoon. The 6th was dry and bright, with some patchy cloud.  Cloud was more persistent on the 7th, with some patchy rain.  

8th to 14th

There was an east-west split on the 8th with cloud and rain for the east and sunshine for the west where there was a maximum temperature of 18.4 °C at Derrylin (County Fermanagh) and Magilligan (Londonderry). The 9th and 10th were mostly similar, dry with sunny periods in the east but cloudy with patchy rain in the west.  After a bright start to the 11th, cloud and showers developed through the afternoon. The 12th was mostly dry with sunny periods but turned showery and also became windier later. It was cooler and cloudier on the 13th, and increasingly showery during the afternoon especially in the south-east, with 49.8 mm at Killylane (Antrim). There were early morning thunderstorms and downpours in the east on the 14th with Killylane recording 24.8 mm in an hour at 0900, and it remained unsettled and showery throughout the day.

15th to 21st

The 15th started wet and cloudy, but the rain cleared in the afternoon.   A widespread wet morning on the 16th with locally heavy rain, and it turned windy with sunshine and showers in the afternoon, Orlock Head (County Down) recording a gust of 54 mph. The 17th was a day of sunshine and showers with the heaviest showers in the north. After overnight rain, the 18th was cool and breezy. A cool, mostly cloudy day on the 19th with scattered showers mostly restricted to coastal fringes. The 20th was a brighter day, staying mostly dry throughout but cooler overnight. The 21st was cloudy, with patchy rain developing over western hills.

22nd to 27th

Showers or longer spells of rain in the east on the 22nd drifted further west in the afternoon.  A showery start for many areas on the 23rd but the showers soon cleared, before returning during the evening. A generally dry day on the 24th with some bright spells mainly in the west. It was cool overnight with fog patches into the 25th, with a minimum of  -1.2°C at Lough Navar (County Fermanagh), followed by a bright day across the north-east on the 25th before rain spread east later. A cloudy but mild day followed on the 26th. The 27th was mild but increasingly cloudy with patchy rain throughout from mid-morning.

28th to 31st

It stayed mild into the 28th with light rain in the west by evening, but otherwise it was a largely dry but cloudy day. It was dull and cloudy on the 29th with some light rain or drizzle.  Generally bright or sunny on the 30th, but it clouded over from the west with some rain later in the day.  It was cloudy on the 31st, and rain reached the north of the Province in the early evening.

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