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October 2017

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

October started with a changeable westerly regime which persisted through the first week, with a succession of frontal systems moving across the British Isles and brighter showery weather in between.  Most of the rest of the month was dominated by a warm moist south-westerly type, and there were some unusually high temperatures at times, notably on the 16th associated with ex-tropical hurricane Ophelia.  It was often cloudy, but rainfall amounts in southern and eastern areas tended to be small.  There was some colder brighter weather towards the end of the month, and a northerly outbreak on the 29th was followed by a widespread ground frost.

The UK mean temperature was 11.2 °C, which is 1.8 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average.  Mean maximum temperatures were generally 1 to 2 °C above average, with the largest positive anomalies in the east, and mean minimum temperatures were generally between 1.5 and 2.5 °C above average.  It was a drier than average month except in western Scotland, Cumbria, north Lancashire and parts of Northern Ireland, and particularly dry in the south-east with under 25% of the average in places.  The prevailing moist south-westerly flow resulted in a cloudy month for most regions, especially Northern Ireland, west Wales, western Scotland and north-west England.  For Northern Ireland it was the equal dullest October in a series from 1929.

The UK monthly extremes were as follows:  A maximum temperature of 23.5 °C was recorded at Manston (Kent) on the 16th.  A minimum temperature of -5.0 °C was recorded at Tulloch Bridge (Inverness-shire) on the 30th.  In the 24 hours ending at 0900 GMT on the 11th, 154.4 mm of rain fell at Ennerdale, Black Sail (Cumbria).  Wind gusts of 78 knots (90 mph) were recorded at Aberdaron and Capel Curig (Gwynedd) on the 16th.

Weather impacts

October brought two named storms, ex-hurricane Ophelia on 16-17 October and Brian on 21 October.

On the 10th, over 150mm of rain fell at Honister Pass in Cumbria. There were some road closures due to flooding (some roads remaining closed until the 12th) and cancellations to some west coast mainline trains; nine schools were closed in Cumbria. In North Wales, a tree fell on a car, injuring the passengers.

In Northern Ireland, all education facilities were closed on the 16th and 17th as a precaution ahead of the arrival of Ophelia. The police received over 500 additional calls directly related to the storm, with fallen trees blocking roads, and around 50 roads were still closed or restricted on the morning of the 17th.  Flights were cancelled from all airports, and rail services were closed down during the evening; buses from the Republic of Ireland were cancelled or delayed. Over 57,000 customers lost power, with water supply and phones also disrupted.  (The Irish Republic experienced the worst of the impacts, with Met Eireann having issued a Red Warning.)  Three people died in Storm Ophelia incidents, with a further two fatalities while people carried out repairs after the storm. In Scotland there was travel disruption with ferries cancelled, restrictions on bridges due to strong winds, disruption to coastal rail services in Ayrshire, and flights disrupted at all major airports.  In Dumfries & Galloway, the strong winds resulted in numerous fallen trees blocking roads, with some power outages and property damage.  In Wales, a number of schools remained closed, while all schools in Pembrokeshire closed early. Fallen trees blocked roads and railways as well as causing loss of power to around 200 homes.  The main impacts in England were felt across the south-west; the M48 and some other coastal roads were closed, and fallen trees blocked roads and damaged cars.  Trains ran at reduced speeds on certain routes.  Both ferry and air services were cancelled, and around 12,000 customers lost power for a time.

In the early hours of the 19th fog affected parts of southern and eastern England. Storm Brian affected the UK on 21st, but impacts were largely limited to coastal areas of south-west England and Wales. There was disruption to ferries, roads and bridges, and rail services in coastal areas, with fallen trees and large waves giving dangerous conditions and depositing debris onto coastal areas.  Around 1500 properties lost power for a time in Wales.

England diary of highlights

October began unsettled with westerly winds and near-average temperatures, and this regime persisted during the first week.  South-westerly winds prevailed for most of the month, and there were some notable high temperatures at times, notably the 16th (associated with ex-hurricane Ophelia) and 23rd/24th.  It was often cloudy, especially in the north-west, but rainfall amounts were generally modest.  It turned colder with overnight frost in places during the last few days.

The mean temperature for October was 1.8 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average.  The positive anomaly was generally larger by night than by day, and the average minimum temperature was the equal-sixth highest in a series from 1910.  Rainfall was below normal except in the north-west, with 59% of average overall.  Sunshine was below normal in most regions, especially the north-west, with 82% of average.

1st to 8th

The 1st was mainly cloudy; rain moved from west to east during the morning, clearing away by lunchtime, as winds increased. It was windy, with sunshine and showers over the north on the 2nd, and 10.2 hours of bright sunshine at Boulmer (Northumberland), but turning wet in the south-west in the afternoon. The 3rd saw showers over the north-west, but was bright or sunny elsewhere.  It was cloudy and breezy except on the south coast on the 4th; rain in the north-west slowly moved southwards during the day, with 43.2 mm at Stonyhurst (Lancashire). Sunny and breezy start for most on the 5th, after early rain in the south moved away; isolated showers, initially in the north-west, spread to the Midlands through the Cheshire Gap. Mainly bright and sunny start on the 6th; isolated showers around the Cheshire Gap and East Anglia mostly died out during the morning, then it became cloudier in the afternoon, with some patchy rain affecting the far north. Mostly cloudy with isolated showers at first on the 7th; rain arrived in the far south-west, with more rain over the north-west spreading down to reach the south-east by dusk. The 8th was bright or sunny, with isolated showers in East Anglia and the north-west, and patchy rain moved into the south-west during the afternoon.

9th to 15th

It was mostly cloudy on the 9th, with some patchy rain over East Anglia and the south coast, and more persistent rain developing across the north. Mostly cloudy on the 10th, with patchy rain over western regions, and an area of rain moved in from the west over northern parts.  Rain over the north-west on the 11th moved southwards into the Midlands and south-west by afternoon, becoming lighter and patchier.  The 12th saw patchy rain across western areas, but was generally bright or sunny elsewhere.  Persistent rain over the north-west on the 13th, generally cloudy with rain on and off elsewhere.  Mild overnight into the 14th, Linton-on-Ouse (North Yorkshire) not falling below 17.2 °C, with rain/drizzle persisting over the north, mainly bright or sunny in the east, cloudy in the south and west.  Sunny in the east on the 15th, cloudy elsewhere with rain over the north-west, brightening up generally from late afternoon.

16th to 20th

Warm with sunshine and showers on the 16th, Manston (Kent) reaching 23.5°C, wettest in the north, but dying out through the day, and strong winds or gales developing ahead of storm Ophelia. Starting windy on the 17th, with gales in exposed places; mostly bright or sunny, isolated showers in the north, and rain developing over the English Channel, mostly affecting the south-west and East Anglia during the afternoon. Sunny start in parts of the north on the 18th, cloudier in the north-east and south, where showers or patchy rain persisted, with isolated heavy thundery showers in the south-east clearing away later. The 19th was cloudy with rain from Devon through to the Wash, becoming more widespread and intense during the morning, and more rain arriving from the west and moving north. After a mostly cloudy start on the 20th, with isolated showers, the best of any sunshine in the south, cloud increased during the afternoon with rain reaching the south-west.

21st to 31st

Most places started dry on the 21st, apart from blustery showers in the south, but heavy rain and gale-force winds associated with storm Brian spread across the country before clearing to the east later, with a gust of 85 mph at Needles (Isle of Wight). Rain in the north, the Midlands and East Anglia until early afternoon on the 22nd, and showers in the south-west gradually spread further east before dying out. Some rain at first for most areas on the 23rd, clearing by early afternoon, then generally fine and warm. The 24th was mild with some rain over the north throughout the day, the east remaining dry but overcast. Dry, sunny and warm for all regions on the 25th, temperatures into the low 20s Celsius in southern areas. Bands of rain affected parts of the north and south-east on the 26th, heaviest in the east. Dry on the 27th, with some isolated fog patches early, then generally sunny. Cloudy in the north on the 28th, with rain and drizzle affecting parts of the west, though mostly dry and sunny in the south and south-east. It was sunny for many on the 29th, but cooler, with a maximum of only 8.0 °C at Fylingdales (North Yorkshire), though there were frequent scattered showers for North Sea coasts and parts of East Anglia. A frosty start in places on the 30th, Bewcastle (Cumbria) falling to -3.6 °C, bright or sunny but chilly for most with again a high of only 8.0 °C at Leek (Staffordshire), but patchy rain affected the north after midday.  Rain moved east during the 31st, persisting over the east coast; mainly dry elsewhere.

Wales diary of highlights

October was generally changeable with westerly winds and near-average temperatures during the first week, and then frequent warm south-westerlies which brought mainly cloudy weather but often with only modest amounts of rain.  A brief northerly outbreak on the 29th brought some overnight frost.

The mean temperature for October was 1.7 °C above the long-term average.  The average minimum temperature was particularly high, the eighth highest for October in a series from 1910.  It was a dry month overall, especially in the south-east, with 65% of average rainfall.  Sunshine was also well below average except in the south-east, with 76% of average overall.

1st to 9th

The 1st was mainly cloudy with rain clearing eastern areas by early morning, and it became windy later with patchy light rain.  It was generally cloudy on the 2nd with a few showers, and turned wet and windy, especially across the south, in the afternoon.  High cloud spread from the north-west on the 3rd after a sunny morning for the south and east.  Windy on the 4th with gusts exceeding 50 mph at times around coasts, and patchy rain in places by the afternoon. Bright or sunny on the 5th, with 9.2 hours of sunshine at Aberdaron (Gwynedd), but isolated blustery showers in the north, and a few developing further south during the day, dying out by evening. The 6th started sunny in the south; the north saw more cloud and isolated showers with thunder, these mostly dying out to allow brighter conditions here too for a while, but cloud increased again later. Mostly cloudy and showery start on the 7th, with a band of rain over northern areas for a time early afternoon, heavy in places; drier in the south and south-west with some late sunshine. The 8th was mainly cloudy except in parts of the south and west, with scattered showers over the far north in early afternoon. The 9th started mainly cloudy and dry, with a few sunny intervals during the afternoon, andh isolated showers over the north and west later.

10th to 20th

Cloudy with scattered showers early on the 10th, mostly dying out by early afternoon with some sunshine. Very wet for most on the 11th, the rain becoming lighter and more showery by late afternoon.  Generally bright or sunny on the 12th but with some patchy rain around coasts in the morning. Generally cloudy and wet on the 13th, with 76.4 mm falling at Capel Curig (Gwynedd).  Mild going into the 14th with temperatures not falling below 17.0 °C at Hawarden (Clywd); some patchy rain in places, dying out and brightening up generally by the afternoon.  Cloudy but dry and very mild on the 15th, brightening up a little in the afternoon, giving a high of 22.9 °C at Gogerddan (Dyfed). Some sunshine on the 16th, with scattered blustery showers, dying out for a while, before further showers and strong winds/gales arrived in association with ex-hurricane Ophelia, producing gusts to 90 mph at both Aberdaron and Capel Curig. Still windy early on the 17th with isolated showers, otherwise bright or sunny. It was mostly cloudy and cool on the 18th, with a high of only 9.5 °C at Lake Vyrnwy (Powys), though with sunshine in the north-west at first; showers moved up from the south but died out later. The 19th started mainly dry and cloudy, before showers or longer spells of rain developed, occasionally heavy. It was mostly cloudy on the 20th, with isolated showers early, then rain moved into the west later, with isolated heavy bursts.

21st to 31st

On the 21st there was rain, heavy at times, with winds up to severe gale force winds, associated with Storm Brian, bringing disruption to transport networks before clearing into northern England later in the day. After a dry start on the 22nd, showers and longer spells of rain in the south-west spread northwards through the day. Rain in the south and west at first on the 23rd, and in the north-west later, cleared and it was fine and dry later in the day. Rain and wind affected all regions throughout the 24th. The 25th was dry with sunny intervals for all regions, but the 26th was overcast with light rain. Dry on the 27th, and mostly sunny, though some cloud developed in the afternoon. The 28th was mainly cloudy, with isolated rain or drizzle, though some sunshine in the far south and east. The 29th was mostly sunny but cool, with isolated showers in the morning, otherwise dry. After a frosty start in places, Sennybridge (Powys) falling overnight to -1.9 °C, the 30th was another sunny day, but scattered showers spread into the north-west later.  It was dull on the 31st, with persistent light rain in the east.

Scotland diary of highlights

October started with an unsettled westerly regime and near-average temperatures, but after the first week it was generally warm with mainly south-westerly winds, and particularly warm between the 14th and 16th.  It was often cloudy with frequent rain but rainfall amounts further east were often small.  There was a brief cold northerly outbreak on the 29th which brought overnight frost in places.

The mean temperature for October was 1.8 °C above the long-term average.  Rainfall totalled 102% of average overall, with rainfall mostly below average in the east but above average in the west.  It was a cloudy month, especially in the west, with only 75% of average sunshine overall, making it the 8th dullest October in a series from 1929.

1st to 7th

The 1st was mainly cloudy with rain moving north-east across the country, patchy rain following across western areas, and it became windy. Sunny over the east on the 2nd, with blustery showers over the west becoming widespread into the afternoon.  Mainly cloudy with showers over the west on the 3rd, drier and sunnier further east.  The 4th was windy generally, with rain persisting over the south and west, and the north and east brighter and showery. Sunshine and isolated blustery showers for the 5th, the showers becoming more widespread for a time before dying out by evening, and Drummond Castle (Perthshire) recorded 8.9 hours of sunshine. After a bright start on the 6th, rain spread from the west during the morning, reaching north-eastern parts later, though it was more patchy in the south.  Sunshine and showers for most on the 7th, but cloudy with patchy rain and drizzle in the south-east.

8th to 14th

Cloudy on the 8th with light patchy rain in the north-east and the south-west, and in the far north late afternoon. Mainly cloudy on the 9th, with some rain or showers in most places, before an area of heavier rain moved into the west in late afternoon. It was mostly cloudy on the 10th with patchy rain affecting central regions, dying out by the afternoon, but a more organised area of heavy rain moved in from the west late in the day, producing 90.4 mm at Alltdearg House, Skye (Highland).  Heavy rain over the south and east on the 11th cleared south in the afternoon, and heavy and frequent showers followed in the west.  Bright or sunny over the east initially on the 12th, but it became generally cloudy, with rain over the west.  Rain for the south and east on the 13th; drier, brighter and mild in the north and west, with overnight temperatures at West Freugh and Logan Botanical Gardens (Wigtonshire) and Prestwick (Ayrshire) not falling below 14.5 °C, and a maximum temperature of 20.6 °C at Fyvie Castle (Aberdeenshire.)  Dull and wet for the Borders and western areas on the 14th, brighter and drier further north and east.

15th to 20th

Mild overnight into the 15th with Edinburgh Gogarbank not falling below 14.5 °C, bright over the north and east, cloudy elsewhere with rain or showers particularly over the Borders, and windy generally. Mostly cloudy on the 16th, rain spreading east to most areas during the morning, becoming showery later, with strong winds and gales in association with storm Ophelia, which produced gusts to 76 mph at Dundrennan (Kirkcudbrightshire) and Fair Isle (Shetland). The 17th started windy, with gales in exposed places and rain in the north, but turning showery with brighter spells. Mainly cloudy on the 18th, brighter in the north at first; isolated showers affected the north-east and parts of the south, dying out later. The 19th was cloudy, and some scattered showers developed, then rain moved into the south from late afternoon. Patchy rain in the far north on the 20th, mostly sunny elsewhere but cloud increasing during the afternoon.

21st to 31st

Rain in the north-east on the 21st gradually cleared away eastwards, but rain in the south-west spread further north and east through the day reaching the Central Belt by early afternoon and the north-west and Hebrides by evening. Showers or longer spells of rain on the 22nd, becoming mostly dry by late afternoon. It was very unsettled on the 23rd, with rain for most at some point, but drier in the evening. Strong winds affected all regions on the 24th, with rain for western and central areas, the rain becoming light and patchy in the east. Scattered showers over the west on the 25th, but the east remained fine and sunny. The 26th was wet and windy for the north-west, drier further east and south. Mainly dry on the 27th, with isolated fog patches at first, then bright or sunny for most but cloudier in the north and west. The 28th was mostly cloudy, with rain or drizzle in the south and west. Bright or sunny but cool on the 29th, Braemar (Aberdeenshire) only reaching 6.3 °C, though cloudier in the north-east with showers. A frosty start in places on the 30th with a minimum of -5.0 °C at Tulloch Bridge (Inverness-shire); some early brightness in the north-east, but otherwise cloudy with occasionally heavy rain in the north-west, moving east, eventually clearing by late afternoon.  Generally wet on the 31st, drying up for a time in the afternoon but more rain reached the south-west in the evening.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

October started with a changeable westerly regime, with fronts moving across the country at frequent intervals during the first week.  Most of the rest of the month was warm with south-westerly winds, and it was generally cloudy but not especially wet.  The weather turned colder and brighter at times near the end of the month.

The mean temperature for October was 1.4 °C above the long-term average.  Rainfall was 88% of average, and it was drier than average in the north and east, but with near or slightly above average rainfall in the south-west.  It was a dull month with just 62% of average sunshine, making it the equal dullest October (alongside 2011) in a series from 1929.

1st to 10th

The 1st was mainly cloudy, with a band of rain clearing the east in early morning and isolated patches of light rain behind, and it became windy. The 2nd had sunshine and blustery showers, and it was cloudier with further showers on the 3rd. Wet and windy everywhere on the 4th, with gusts over 40 mph at times. Sunshine and blustery showers on the 5th, with gusts over 55 mph locally, but showers died out by late afternoon. It was mostly cloudy on the 6th, though with some brightness in the east at first; a band of light rain moved across later in the morning, turning patchier during the afternoon. It was mostly cloudy on the 7th, with some rain and drizzle, and isolated heavier bursts in the north and west. The 8th was mainly cloudy, with isolated patchy rain, though a little brighter in the north early afternoon. Mainly cloudy on the 9th, with some rain for the south and west, becoming more persistent and widespread as it moved east, clearing by the afternoon, though with isolated showers later. Cloudy with patchy rain early on the 10th, but a more organised band of rain moved eastwards across the Province during the afternoon, occasionally heavy, mostly clearing through by late afternoon.

11th to 20th

A wet morning on the 11th, brighter with showers in the afternoon.  It was cloudy with rain at times on the 12th.  Generally cloudy and wet but mild on the 13th, with temperatures overnight no lower than 16.0 °C at Killowen (County Down) and reaching a daytime high of 19.9 °C at Murlough (County Down).  Rain again for most on the 14th, clearing away northwards by afternoon.  Generally cloudy with patchy rain for the 15th. Mainly cloudy and windy on the 16th, with rain early, clearing for a time, before storm Ophelia brought strong winds/gales and further rain during the afternoon, gusts reaching 71 mph at Orlock Head (County Down). The 17th was windy at first, and remained mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Mostly cloudy on the 18th, with some brighter spells in the north and east, and isolated showers in the north-west later. The 19th was cloudy, with showers or longer spells of rain, heavy for a time during the afternoon, giving 36.6 mm at Trassey Slievenaman (County Down). The 20th started sunny, but rain, occasionally heavy, moved in from the south-west to all areas during the afternoon.

21st to 31st

Rain and strong winds for most areas on the 21st, the rain clearing to the east and becoming showery. The 22nd was showery but many places stayed dry. A dry start to the 23rd but showers developed during the morning and a band of rain moved across during the afternoon, clearing by early evening. Overcast but mostly dry on the morning and early afternoon of the 24th, but rain spread across all regions in late afternoon and early evening.  The 25th was overcast with some light rain in the west; dry with sunny intervals to the east. Mostly dry with sunny intervals for all parts on the 26th. After a few early fog patches, the 27th was bright or sunny, and Aldergrove (County Antrim) reported 8.2 hours of bright sunshine. The 28th was mainly cloudy, with the odd patch of drizzle. Bright or sunny but cool on the 29th, with a maximum temperature of only 9.5 °C at Killylane (County Antrim), and isolated showers early on, but otherwise dry. Cold overnight into the 30th, with a minimum of -1.8 °C at Katesbridge (County Down), then patchy rain and drizzle, becoming more widespread by afternoon.  Morning rain across the Province on the 31st cleared for a time before more rain arrived for the evening.

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