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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 574 For OCTOBER 2004
COLD AND SUNNY; MOSTLY DRY TILL THE LAST FEW DAYS
Text Box: This was a month of contrasting episodes but winds from the west and southwest were notable for their absence. Pressure at sea-level was 11mbar above normal just south of Iceland and 8mbar below over eastern Europe, and the anomalous flow over the British Isles was strongly northerly.

Low pressure over Biscay brought showers to southern districts on the 1st and 2nd, but central and northern Britain were dry and sunny, and it was also quite warm in most areas; the month's highest temperature of 22.1C was recorded at Saunton Sands (Devon) on the 2nd. Fronts swept southeastwards across the country on the 3rd, and again overnight 5th/6th, each time introducing a brief northwesterly outbreak with cold winds, blustery showers (wintry over the Scottish hills) and local thunder, but also sunny intervals. A gust of 68kn was recorded at Barra (Western Isles) on the 6th. Further fronts introduced warmer air on the 8th and 9th with 21C reached locally in southern England. Although Waterstein (Skye) reported a total of 100mm between the 2rd and 10th, rainfall amounts in other parts of the UK were mostly quite small, and much of the South and East had negligible rain.

An anticyclone developed over the UK on the 11th but it soon transferred to southern Scandinavia and a southeasterly airflow prevailed across the country until the 18th. This was a dry and sunny period in all regions, often with wide diurnal temperature ranges. Herne Bay (Kent) recorded 73hr of sunshine between the 11th and 18th inclusive. On the 18th and 19th highest pressure transferred to eastern Greenland, winds backed northeasterly, and it became appreciably colder in all regions.
Text Box: The next six days were decidedly wintry as disturbances in the northeasterly flow travelled slowly southwards. Snow showers fell widely in Scotland, Northern Ireland and northeast England on the 20th and 21st (58mm of rain in 60hr at Charterhall in Berwickshire), with rain and hail showers further south (43mm in 36hr at Margate, Kent);  10cm of snow lay in the Huntly (Aberdeenshire) district early on the 20th, and unofficial reports indicated that 25cm lay above 400m in the Lammermuir and Moorfoot Hills in southeast Scotland the next morning. Carterhouse (Roxburghshire) recorded a maximum of just 2.6C on the 21st, and Shap (Cumbria) a minimum of -6.9C early on the 22nd. That day, heavy and prolonged rain fell across southern England (53mm in 36h at St Catherine's Point on the Isle of Wight), snow fell over Exmoor and Dartmoor, and the maximum at Liscombe on Exmoor was just 4.1C. Wintry showers recurred between the 23rd and 25th, and frost was widespread at night.

Westerly winds brought warmer weather to Scotland on the 28th with 18.2C at Aberdeen airport, but the last three days were rather cold and very unsettled with long periods of rain, heavy at times, in most places;  70.6mm fell at Cardinham (Cornwall) in 72hr. 

The provisional Central England Temperature of 9.3C was 1.1 degC below the 1971-2000 norm, making this the coldest October since 1993. It was an exceptionally dry month in the Perth/Stirling and Carlisle areas with just 10-12mm of rain, and over the UK as a whole monthly rainfall was about 25 per cent below normal. Sunshine was 30 to 40 per cent above the long-term mean over most of the country.
                                                                                                                                           
    TEMPERATURE   SUNSHINE   RAINFALL        
                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                   
                                  Highest and lowest totals             Highest and lowest totals        
                                  on record for month    
Maximum fall in 24 hrs
   (beginning 09 h)
        on record for month    
Days with snow or sleet
 
Days with fog
(Vis <220 yards at 09 h)
 
                                                                                         
     
Difference from average
   
Difference from average
 
Highest maximum
   
Lowest minimum
   
No. of days with grass
  minimum below 0C
   
Days of no sunshine
 
Maximum duration
       
First year of record
         
Days of no rainfall
 (0.1 mm or less)
         
First year of record
         
Days with thunder
     
  PLACE  
Mean Maximum
   
Mean minimum
             
No. of air frosts
       
Total for month
                   
Total for month
                   
                               
% of average
                   
% of average
                 
                                                                     
                                   
Highest
   
Lowest
 
Year
             
Highest
   
Lowest
 
Year
       
             
Date
   
Date
         
Date
         
Year
         
Date
         
Year
           
                                                                     
    C     C     C     C           Hrs     Hrs       Hrs     Hrs       mm     mm       mm     mm          
                                                                                                                                           
  *Hampstead   13.7   -0.5   06.0   -2.1   19.6   08   -00.1   25   07   01   00   08.1   05   134   134   1910   169   1997   050   1976   18   15.2   30   038   055   1910   177   1987   05   1947   00   00   00  
  Thorney Island   14.8   -0.3   06.6   -1.1   20.3   08   -00.8   25   06   01   01   09.6   17   162   128   1958   176   1994   076   1963   16   19.6   30   061   083   1941   213   1987   02   1969   01   00   00  
  *Coltishall   13.2   -1.2   06.3   -0.9   18.0   08   -00.4   24   13   01   02   09.7   16   147   134   1979   153   1995   075   1982   17   18.1   30   072   126   1964   144   1993   09   1995   01   00   00  
  Wittering   13.3   -0.4   05.6   -1.1   18.5   08   -00.2   24   15   01   02   09.5   07   149   145   1950   165   1959   051   1976   19   17.0   30   049   106   1948   126   1960   04   1978   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   13.4   -0.5   05.5   -1.0   19.1   08   -01.4   21   09   02   02   08.5   26   134   129   1952   161   1999   053   1968   18   10.2   30   036   062   1945   176   1949   05   1978   00   00   01  
  Ross-on-Wye   13.7   -0.5   05.0   -1.8   19.0   08   -03.0   21   14   04   02   09.1   17   136   146   1915   156   1919   037   1915   18   22.4   30   046   081   1859   216   1907   09   1969   00   00   00  
  *St Athan   13.3   -0.6   06.5   -1.6   19.4   01   -01.3   22   13   02   03   08.8   17   100   103   1954   153   1997   045   1968   14   13.2   30   062   073   1954   249   1998   11   1978   00   00   00  
  St Mawgan   13.6   -0.6   08.5   -0.8   18.2   02   01.5   24   04   00   03   09.6   26   137   124   1945   169   1994   051   1968   14   20.8   30   077   083   1944   217   1987   19   1965   02   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   12.6   -0.6   05.7   -1.6   18.7   08   -01.3   21   12   02   02   08.0   17   126   135   1887   152   1997   027   1893   14   27.6   30   063   121   1887   191   1998   07   1969   00   00   00  
  Valley   13.1   -1.0   06.8   -2.3   17.3   08   01.3   24   09   00   02   09.8   02   125   120   1946   151   1965   053   1968   13   18.6   30   068   077   1941   208   2000   09   1947   00   01   00  
  Ringway   12.8   -0.8   05.8   -1.6   17.9   01   -01.8   21   07   03   03   09.4   18   127   132   1945   136   1959   062   1960   19   10.0   28   043   062   1942   191   2000   14   1946   00   00   00  
  *Watnall   12.7   -1.0   05.7   -1.0   17.7   01   00.7   21   11   00   02   09.7   07   126   122   1948   133   1995   045   1960   18   20.6   30   052   113   1942   143   1960   08   1947   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  Leeming   12.9   -0.6   04.3   -2.2   18.2   01   -03.2   22   16   05   02   09.1   07   129   140   1945   144   1981   047   1982   21   10.0   30   025   050   1945   128   1960   07   1962   00   01   01  
  *Boulmer   12.7   0.0   07.2   +0.1   18.0   01   01.9   22   07   00   03   09.1   07   115   115   1945   156   1986   053   1960   16   15.2   21   064   106   1945   159   2002   07   1985   00   01   00  
  Eskdalemuir   10.8   -0.8   03.4   -1.2   15.9   01   -04.2   30   19   08   03   08.9   07   125   162   1911   130   1959   040   1976   12   16.4   09   063   045   1911   331   1967   12   1951   00   02   00  
  *Bishopton   11.9   -1.1   04.8   -1.5   17.0   01   -00.3   21   19   01   04   09.4   16   115   144   1921   138   1993   030   1940   17   08.0   06   034   035   1921   266   1995   20   1951   00   01   04  
                                                                     
  Leuchars   12.5   -0.4   04.8   -1.2   18.7   09   -01.3   31   15   02   02   08.6   03   140   139   1922   152   1986   048   1960   21   12.0   21   023   042   1922   170   2002   05   1951   01   01   00  
  Dyce   11.6   -0.8   04.9   -1.0   18.2   27   -01.9   18   10   01   03   09.2   03   139   151   1941   156   1986   030   1960   09   11.0   22   051   067   1941   230   2002   08   1985   01   00   00  
  *Stornoway   11.1   -0.8   05.8   -0.8   14.8   14   00.5   23   11   00   04   08.4   16   092   121   1880   135   1898   034   1921   11   10.4   21   073   058   1943   231   1989   19   1946   01   02   00  
  *Aldergrove   11.7   -0.9   05.9   -1.7   16.9   01   -01.4   30   12   05   05   09.0   23   096   096   1927   117   1939   049   1954   11   8.4   21   037   055   1927   176   1976   19   1951   00   01   00  
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                           
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's and      
  Edgbaston's sunshine figures are made at a nearby site. site.