What a difference a year makes

  • A typical autumn scene from Kielder Water, Northumberland. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Archive/Press Association.

    Stirling Castle surrounded in early morning mist yesterday. Credit: Andrew Milligan/Pa Wire.

    Flooding in Peebles, the Scottish Borders last month when the River Tweed burst its' banks. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire.

  • What a difference a year makes
    11.10.2012 15:50


    As we approach the middle of October, we find ourselves in the midst of a typically British Autumn; wet and windy with maximum temperatures in the low teens, you might find yourself reminiscing about the rather warmer conditions of last October.

    It’s not that October 2011 was a dry month, it wasn’t. The UK sat under a south or south-westerly wind quite often, which brought changeable conditions and rain at times with rainfall totals across England and Wales reaching almost 90% of the average and 116% of average across Scotland. However, it was a warm month. Indeed, it gave us a new all-time record maximum temperature. Swanscombe in Kent reached 29.9C on the 1st of October 2011. This is a stark contrast to the 1st of October 2012, which saw temperatures across Kent merely close to the seasonal average, reaching around 16C in places. Across the whole of the UK the highest temperature reached was just 18.8C at Holbeach in Lincolnshire, although this is of course the sort of temperature we should expect at this time of year.

    October 2011 was the warmest October for five years and the seventh warmest in 353 years of records. That’s certainly not a record we are going to beat this October. So far this month maximum temperatures across the UK have been decidedly average, typically peaking in the low to mid-teens. Night time temperatures have been on the chilly side at times too, especially this last week in the north of the UK where we have had several cold nights. On the night of the 9th, temperatures fell as low as -5.3C at Tulloch Bridge in Lochaber and down to -3.3C at Redesdale in Northumberland.

    Looking ahead to the rest of this month, we can expect conditions to remain much the same. Complex low pressure systems are set to move eastwards across the UK bringing spells of potentially heavy rain, with showery conditions likely in between these periods of rain, especially across the western half of the UK. As such we can expect daytime maximum temperatures to continue to be around average at best. If you are looking for some heat, then southern Spain could be the place to go with temperatures reaching 31C at Seville today.

    By: Victoria Kettley