Monthly Summary - October 2011

   October may have been a very mild month and well above the long term average, but it isn't possible to disguise the fact that it was wet and in particular, very dull, with a succession of days seeing virtually no sun at all. The third successive month to have in excess of 100 mm of rain and if October should represent Autumns call of mists and mellow fruitfulness then it clearly failed.

   Once again high pressure was generally absent and it was another 'South Westerly' month during which we had two distinct spells, 8-12th and 21st-25th when frontal systems became lodged over or near us; their progress east 'blocked' by high pressure over Europe and hence resulted in wet and dull conditions. Frost was virtually absent during the month.

   The month started with the final day of the year's longest and warmest warm spell as high pressure (1030 Mb) was still over the UK and whilst there was some cloud, we enjoyed a warm sunny day. A temperature of 24.7°c (76.5°F) is crazy for the time of year and by far a new October record both at this site and many others.

   But come the 2nd, come the return of low pressure systems that brought wet, dull and quite simply depressing weather. At morning observations the 2nd to the 14th saw ten days being recorded as 100% cloud cover, the other three being no lower than 80%, either rain bearing clouds or for seven successive days of 8-14th a thick layer of Stratus. Dull and overcast became an overused term! Unless of course it was raining!!

   Low pressure near to Iceland saw a succession of mainly weak weather fronts bring some light rain for the 2nd - 4th, with overcast conditions prevailing and then the 5th was wet (9.0 mm) and windy (max' gust 46 Mph) throughout as a more active cold front passed over.

   Whilst rainfall was recorded on each of the first twelve days of the month, the 7th did see some sunny spells in the afternoon, but it felt quite fresh as we sat between an Azores high and low pressure (964) over Norway that drew down cool Arctic maritime air on a brisk NW'ly. But then the murk set in!

   A cold front west of Eire moved east and then just became relatively static over northern England for the 8-12th; partly due to it being blocked by high pressure over Biscay. Rain and 'murk' resulted. The 8th had 14.8 mm of rain and on the 11th this cold front became re-invigorated and hence became the month's wettest day with 21.7 mm with heavy rain continuing overnight into the 12th.

   The 13-16th finally saw high pressure become established over the UK, but at first a weak occlusion front sat under this high and whilst dry, the 13-14th were still gloomy days. The 15th did finally see a good day as the occlusion had now dissipated and it was beautiful clear skies and a temp' of 14.6°c (58.3°F). The 16th saw the high pressure slipping further east and whilst there were some sunny spells the cloud was building as the low pressure that had been held at bay now made progress east.

   The 17th provided an excellent example of the passage of a very active cold front, as at tea-time over a 20 minute period we were well and truly battered by strong winds (gusting to 52 Mph) and heavy rain of 17.7 mm for the day. It was this cold front that was reported as a (localised) tornado in Whitehaven and took the roof of a children's nursery.

   The 18+19th then saw two cold days with both failing to attain 10°c. A moderate but cool NW'ly flow was drawn down due to low pressure (968) in the Norwegian sea. But the 19th whilst the months coldest day at 8.7°c (47.7°F) was also one of its better days as it was dry and sunny throughout; what an Autumn day should be like!

   The 20th then saw the first frost of Autumn as a transient ridge of high pressure extended north from the Azores. A minimum of -2.0°c (28.4°F) was fairly keen coupled with a ground frost of -4.6°c, but then it was a return to the south westerly's and mild, dull and wet conditions.

   Once again High pressure over Europe prevented the progress east of any Atlantic weather fronts and as a result they squeezed upto that high pressure and then just sat over us. This resulted in a mild but moist Southerly flow and unsettled weather resulted with rain falling on every day to the month's end, although apart from 8.5mm on the 29th it tended to range from 1-3mm.

   We did see a little brightness on the 25-26th and then two further ground frosts 27-28th as a ridge of high pressure also made the 28th a quite pleasant sunny day. But then the month ended on a poor note for 29-31st as a succession of frontal systems saw cloudy days with a 'wetting' drizzle that lingered throughout the day.

   In all October could only be described as a poor month despite it being so mild. The month had a notably high number (10) of night time minimum temperatures over 10°c, the average over the last four years being just four.


   Rainfall totalled 111.9 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 25 days of which 21 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 10.9°c+         --      The Mean Max' was   13.88°c   --    The Mean Min'   7.92°c.

   We had 1 Air Frosts in the month (year 31)      --      Grass frosts totalled 3 (year 53).

   The 30 cm soil temp ranged from 9.8°c on the 29th      to      14.7°c on the 2-3rd      --      with a monthly mean of 12.0°c


   * October 2011 rainfall was 103% of the October average for 2007 - 2010

   * October 2011 was 2.23°c warmer than October 2010 +

  * The 3 month mean for August/September/October 2011 is                   TEMP'    12.44°c         --          RAIN    347.5 mm

* August/September/October 2010 was TEMP'    11.60°c -- RAIN    234.1 mm

* August/September/October 2009 was TEMP'    12.33°c -- RAIN    203.6 mm

* August/September/October 2008 was TEMP'    -- RAIN    481.3 mm

* August/September/October 2007 was TEMP'    -- RAIN    196.9 mm


* 2011 To date TEMP'    9.75°c -- RAIN  1016.4 mm

* 2010 Jan - Oct TEMP'    8.73°c -- RAIN   550.5 mm

* 2009 Jan - Oct TEMP'    9.75°c -- RAIN   854.3 mm

* 2008 Jan - Oct TEMP'   -- RAIN  1205.0 mm

 + Met office figures for October show that NW England/N. Wales had a mean temp' of 11.5°c, this being +2.1°c warmer than the reference period 1971-2000 (+1.9°c warmer than reference period 1961-90)


JANUARY 2010    FEBRUARY 2010    MARCH 2010    APRIL 2010    MAY 2010    JUNE 2010    JULY 2010    AUGUST 2010    SEPTEMBER 2010    OCTOBER 2010    NOVEMBER 2010    DECEMBER 2010   

JANUARY 2011    FEBRUARY 2011    MARCH 2011    APRIL 2011    MAY 2011    JUNE 2011    JULY 2011    AUGUST 2011    SEPTEMBER 2011   

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