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Mild and dry October

October’s weather has been predominantly shaped by a mild west or south-westerly airflow, bringing some spells of unusually high temperatures, both by day and by night.

However the winds did turn briefly northerly for the last weekend of the month, bringing the first widespread frost of autumn with a minimum temperature of -5.0°C recorded at Tulloch Bridge in Invernesshire on the morning of the 30th.

Mean temperatures are above average across the UK, generally by 1.5°C to 2.5°C, with the provisional UK value coming out at 1.7°C above average at 11.3°C. This makes it the joint 8th warmest October on record (equal with 2011), in a record that goes back to 1910. The warmest October on record is 2001 (12.2°C).

Around the middle of the month, ex-tropical hurricane Ophelia dragged warm air northwards across the UK, resulting in maximum temperatures in the low 20°C’s across eastern counties of England (23.5°C, Manston, Kent on 16th) as well as hurricane-force winds. A gust of 90 mph was recorded at Aberdaron and Capel Curig in Gwynedd on the same day. There was another period of warm weather for England and Wales on 23 to 24 October with temperatures in the high-teens Celsius, shortly after Storm Brian moved across the British Isles on the 21st.

Minimum temperatures have also been notably above average with the UK figure sitting at 2.0°C above normal. Notable high overnight minimum temperatures occurred around the middle of the month and also on 24 October with values in the mid-teens Celsius.

1-31 October 2017 provisioinal figures

Mean temp (°C)

Max temp (°C)

Min temp (°C)

 

Actual

Diff from avg (°C)

Actual

Diff from avg (°C)

Actual

Diff from avg (°C)

UK

11.3

1.7

14.3

1.5

8.2

2.0

England

12.2

1.8

15.4

1.5

9.0

2.1

Wales

11.6

1.7

14.3

1.3

8.8

2.1

Scotland

9.6

1.8

12.5

1.5

6.8

1.8

N Ireland

10.8

1.4

13.9

1.2

7.6

1.5

For many it has also been a dry month – a contrast to recent months when rainfall has been above average. You have to go back to May to find a month with below-average rainfall amounts for the UK as a whole. The full-month UK rainfall total is 100.3 mm, which is 79% of the long-term average for October (1981-2010). Western Scotland and Northern Ireland have been wetter with 211.5 mm (104% of average) and 107.3 mm (90% of average) respectively.  Northern Scotland has slightly exceeded its long-term average with 207.2 mm (109% of average).

1-30 October 2017 early figures

Rainfall (mm)

Sunshine (hours)

 

Actual

% of avg

Actual

% of avg

UK

100.3

79

73.6

80

England

53.7

58

86.8

85

Wales

103.5

61

69.1

72

Scotland

175.1

99

56.9

75

N Ireland

107.3

90

53.4

61

With regards to sunshine, there is also something of a west-east split, with the west duller than the east as a result of cloud-bearing west or south-westerly winds. However, if you look at the sunshine map below, the tendency for cloud to break to the lee of high ground is demonstrated. UK sunshine amounts are 73.6 hours (80% of average).

Looking ahead, the start of November will see quiet and dry weather for most with temperatures around average. There should also be some autumn sunshine by day and patchy fog overnight. Following some rain on Friday night, it will become colder over this coming weekend, bringing overnight frosts and perhaps some wintry showers over hills and mountains in the north.

You can find out the current forecast in your area using our forecast pages and by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as using our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store.

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