Weather review for November 2011

  • Ivy is providing late food to butterflies and other insects which were still on the wing into November because of the unseasonably warm weather. Photo: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire

    Swans at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

    Breezy but mild weather brought people out to fly kites on Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath, north London, on Sunday November 27. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

    One year after heavy snow and freezing temperatures covered the UK, walkers enjoy far more clement conditions on the North Yorkshire Moors between Castleton and Hutton Le Hole on Friday November 25 2011. Photo: John Giles/PA Wire.

    Flood water near Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, which was flooded due to heavy rain on Tuesday November 29, 2011. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

  • Weather review for November 2011
    01.12.2011 09:22


    The main features of the month were:

    Warmest November for 17 years and the second warmest in 352 years of records

    Driest November over England and Wales since 1956

    Less than 20mm rain in parts of East Midlands, Lincs and Yorks

    Exceptionally sunny northeast Scotland: 101 h at Kinloss (Moray)

    Southerly winds dominated during November to such an extent that this was the most 'southerly' such month since 1993, and the fifth most southerly November in 139 years of records. Until the 22nd the gradient was often southeasterly, but it was strongly southwesterly thereafter; the net effect of this was that very little rain fell in what are normally the wettest parts of the UK (western highlands, Lake District, Snowdonia) before this date, though this was more than offset by an exceptionally wet last week in these regions.

    Mean maximum temperature for November ranged from 14.6°C at Jersey airport (Channel Is) to 9.4°C at Carter Bar (Roxburghshire), while mean minimum temperature varied between 11.5°C at St Mary's (Isles of Scilly) and 3.5°C at Loch Glascarnoch (Wester Ross). Mean maximum temperature was 2.0-3.0 deg C above the 1971-2000 average and mean minimum temperature was 2.5 to 3.5 deg C above in all regions.

    The Central England Temperature (CET) of 9.7°C was 2.8 deg C above the long-term mean making this the warmest November since 1994 and the second warmest in the entire 352-year long record.

    The highest maximum at a standard site (i.e excluding rooftop and mountain sites) in the UK was 18.1°C at Otterbourne (Hants) on the 13th, while the lowest minimum was minus 6.9°C at Carleton, nr Skipton (North Yorks) early on the 7th. The lowest daytime maximum was 2.8°C at Aviemore (Inverness-shire) on the 25th, and the warmest night was that of the 2nd/3rd with a minimum of 15.1°C at Shoreham (Sussex).

    Rainfall averaged over England and Wales (including an estimated figure for the 30th) during November was 49mm which is 49 per cent of the average for the standard reference period 1971-2000, the lowest for this month since 1956;  in the last 100 years just six Novembers were drier while 94 were wetter. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 96mm and 90 per cent of the normal amount, and for Northern Ireland 64mm and 76 per cent.

    At a more local level, rainfall ranged from almost twice the average in the Glasgow area to less than one-quarter of the average locally in the East Midlands, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. Monthly totals at routinely-available sites varied between 402mm at Inveruglas (Dunbartonshire) and 11mm at Bridlington (East Riding of Yorkshire).

    Sunshine averaged over England and Wales (including an estimated figure for the 30th) during November was 66 hours which is 99 per cent of the 1971-2000 mean, which nevertheless is the lowest figure for seven years. In the last 100 years 64 Novembers were sunnier while 36 were duller. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 70 hours and 138 per cent, and for Northern Ireland 79 hours and 145 per cent.  Largest total in the UK was 101 hours at Kinloss (Morayshire) and the smallest was 29 hours at Lerwick (Shetland).

    The windiest day of the month was the 27th, with peak gusts of 77 knots at Fair Isle (between Orkney and Shetland), 70 knots at Kirkwall (Orkney), and 70 knots also at Wick (Caithness).


    The Autumn quarter (Sept, Oct, Nov)

    The CET for the autumn quarter was 12.5 deg C, some 2.1 deg C above the long-term average. This made this the second warmest autumn, just behind that of 2006, in the entire 352-year long record. Rainfall was well-above normal in northern and western regions, with 148% of normal in western Scotland, but well below normal in the south and east with 50% in East Anglia and 51% in southeast England.


    Regional Breakdown

    Difference from the average (1971-2000)

    Mean Max

    (deg C)

    Mean Min

    (deg C)


    (per cent)


    (per cent)






    Scotland (Highlands and Islands)










    Scotland - Central Belt and east coast










    Northeast England










    East Anglia




















    Southeast England










    Northwest England and North Wales










    Southwest England and South Wales










    Northern Ireland




















    ©Philip Eden 111130