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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 658 For OCTOBER 2010
WET START; WARM SECOND WEEK; THEN MOSTLY RATHER COLD WITH SEVERAL SUNNY DAYS.
Text Box: The month began with a week of southerly winds with a cyclonic bias, followed by ten days of mainly anticyclonic conditions. The remainder of the month was unsettled with an alternation of northerly and westerly or southwesterly types. Mean monthly sea-level pressure anomaly ranged from -1mbar in Shetland to -3.5mbar in the Isles of Scilly, and the anomalous flow over the British Isles was weakly easterly.

The month opened with low pressure west of Ireland and high pressure over the Baltic, and this pattern persisted throughout the first week, with Atlantic fronts making slow and sometimes erratic eastward progress across the UK. Rain fell widely and often heavily on the first two days although it was brighter for a time on the 2nd in some western and northern districts; heaviest falls occurred in eastern Scotland and north-east England on the 1st, with 32.6mm at Fylingdales (N.Yorks), and in southern England and south Wales on the 2nd , with 37.4mm at Tredegar (Monmouthshire). There was further rain or showers at times, heavy in places, daily until the 6th, and sunny intervals were rather limited, but temperatures remained above the seasonal average, especially by night, and a minimum of 16.3C was noted at Shoeburyness (Essex) early on the 3rd.

The east European anticyclone extended its influence across much of the UK from the 7th onwards, and highest pressure transferred to Iceland from the 9th-12th before sinking slowly southwards to the west of Ireland. Much of the country was warm and dry with plenty of sunshine from the 7th till the 12th, although the 9th was rather cloudy. The brisk southeasterly breeze gradually backed northeasterly, but afternoon temperatures climbed into the 20s, reaching 23.1C on the 8th at Valley (Anglesey) and Chivenor (Devon), 22.8C on the 9th at Jersey airport, and 22.5C on the 10th at Lee-on-Solent (Hants); these were the highest October readings in the UK for five years. The sun shone for 10.6h at Camborne (Cornwall) and Aberporth (Ceredigion) on the 11th. Most central and eastern districts became colder and cloudier from the 13th with showers at times and
Text Box: a southward-moving cold front delivered a short spell of rain to much of the country on the 15th. Central and southern districts were fine on the 17th after an early frost: -3.5C was logged at Benson (Oxon).

From the 18th until the 25th the weather was unsettled and rather cold, and northerly winds delivered two Arctic outbreaks on the 19th/20th and 23rd/24th, although the coldest days were also, broadly speaking, the sunniest. Night frosts were very sharp for the season, with -5.7C at Chesham (Bucks) on the 21st and -6.6C at Sennybridge (Breconshire) on the 25th, while the day's maximum at Loch Glascarnoch (Wester Ross) on the 20th was just 3.9C. Several sites noted their lowest October minima since 1997. Between the two cold snaps rain fell widely, most heavily on the 22nd in northwest England where Walney Island (Cumbria) collected 61.8mm in 24h. 

An unsettled southwesterly regime set in overnight 25th/26th bringing much milder conditions, but also some heavy falls of rain especially in northern and western regions. Cluanie Inn (Wester Ross) collected 161.0mm of rain between the 26th and 30th. It was windy at times, too, with gusts to 60kn on exposed coasts and hills in western Britain.

Both mean maximum and mean minimum temperatures were between zero and 1.0 degC above the 1971-2000 mean in nearly all regions. Surprisingly for a month with below-average pressure, rainfall was typically up to 30 per cent below normal, and around 50 per cent below in Northern Ireland. Only a few locations, notably in the western highlands, in upland south Wales, and in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, was it a wet October. Sunshine totals were widely up to 20 per cent above normal, and in some wester districts up to 30 per cent above.
                                                                                                                                             
    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   14.1   -0.1   07.7   -0.4   20.2   08   -01.0   21   06   01   04   07.5   11   089   083   1910   169   1997   050   1976   15   28.2   02   090   135   1910   177   1987   05   1947   00   00   00  
  *Thorney Island   15.0   -0.1   08.4   +0.7   20.2   10   -02.8   21   06   02   04   10.1   11   139   113   1958   176   1994   076   1963   10   24.6   02   101   117   1941   213   1987   02   1969   00   00   00  
  *Wattisham   13.8   -0.3   07.8   +1.1   18.2   10   -02.2   21   04   01   07   10.1   10   101   089   1968   155   1997   055   1976   06   09.0   26   061   114   1960   139   1960   03   1972   01   00   00  
  *Wittering   13.7   0.0   07.8   +1.1   19.2   10   00.5   26   02   00   10   09.9   20   111   100   1950   165   1959   051   1976   16   11.2   01   042   079   1948   126   1960   04   1978   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Lyneham   13.8   -0.1   07.0   +0.5   20.6   08   -02.0   25   07   01   07   09.5   20   122   108   1952   161   1999   053   1968   14   14.0   02   058   086   1945   176   1949   05   1978   00   00   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   14.5   +0.3   06.9   +0.1   19.9   08   -02.6   25   06   03   06   09.1   24   098   098   1915   156   1919   037   1915   13   18.6   02   046   069   1859   216   1907   09   1969   00   00   00  
  *St Athan   14.3   +0.4   08.4   +0.3   19.3   08   -00.2   25   06   01   05   10.0   11   121   116   1954   153   1997   045   1968   19   19.8   02   048   049   1954   249   1998   11   1978   00   00   00  
  Culdrose   14.8   +0.5   09.2   +0.3   19.5   11   -00.8   21   06   01   05   09.6   11   * 149   128   1961   145   1999   059   1968   14   19.8   02   073   067   1961   227   1987   15   1969   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   13.3   +0.1   07.7   +0.4   18.5   10   00.3   25   05   00   06   08.0   20   097   094   1887   152   1997   027   1893   17   13.6   02   039   045   1887   191   1998   07   1969   00   00   00  
  *Valley   14.4   +0.3   09.4   +0.3   23.0   08   00.7   25   04   00   04   10.4   11   132   118   1946   151   1965   053   1968   11   13.8   05   091   089   1941   208   2000   09   1947   00   00   00  
  *Woodford   13.6   +0.3   05.8   -0.8   18.8   10   -05.0   25   11   05   06   10.3   07   125   123   1945   136   1959   062   1960   09   15.4   01   074   092   1942   191   2000   14   1946   00   00   00  
  *Watnall   13.6   -0.1   07.4   +0.7   18.4   10   01.0   20   05   00   10   09.9   20   108   096   1948   133   1995   045   1960   14   20.0   01   049   092   1942   143   1960   08   1947   01   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   13.3   -0.2   06.8   +0.3   17.2   05   -02.0   25   06   02   07   09.6   20   100   099   1945   144   1981   047   2005   15   15.6   01   032   055   1945   134   2004   07   1962   00   00   01  
  *Boulmer   12.6   -0.1   07.7   +0.8   16.7   04   00.3   25   01   00   08   09.1   07   081   075   1945   156   1986   046   2005   12   14.0   01   072   103   1945   159   2002   07   1985   00   00   00  
  *Eskdalemuir   11.4   -0.2   05.2   +0.6   16.3   08   -06.2   25   10   04   09   09.6   12   075   090   1911   130   1959   037   2005   13   16.4   01   111   068   1911   334   2008   12   1951   00   00   02  
  *Bishopton   12.7   -0.3   06.3   0.0   17.1   07   -03.1   25   08   02   06   08.8   24   089   104   1921   138   1993   030   1940   09   22.8   29   119   105   1921   266   1995   20   1951   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   12.7   -0.2   06.5   +0.5   16.9   05   -00.7   20   12   02   08   08.6   20   100   092   1922   152   1986   048   1960   17   19.2   22   057   088   1922   183   2004   05   1951   00   00   00  
  *Dyce   11.6   -0.8   06.6   +0.7   15.2   05   -01.6   25   06   01   10   08.3   04   091   092   1941   156   1986   030   1960   14   18.4   01   061   069   1941   230   2002   08   1985   00   00   00  
  *Stornoway   12   +0.1   07.5   +0.8   17.2   08   00.4   20   05   00   02   09.7   09   092   112   1880   135   1898   034   1921   07   29.8   28   120   081   1943   231   1989   19   1946   00   00   00  
  *Aldergrove   13.2   +0.4   07.0   -0.1   17.4   08   -02.2   25   06   02   06   10.2   11   107   123   1927   117   1939   049   1954   10   13.6   29   047   049   1927   176   1976   19   1951   00   00   00  
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                             
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's   * New highest    
  sunshine figures are made at a nearby site.