Monthly Summary - October 2012

   October had everything that we should expect of mid autumn, including a few good days, but it was particularly cold with ground frost common and both day and especially night-time temperatures well down on average. The period from mid-September to mid-October was the coldest such period since 1974, and in the last century only 1952 and 1905 were colder. With a mean temperature of just 7.5°c, October was the coldest locally since 1993 and a whopping 3.4°c colder than October 2011.

   We had our first snowfall of the season and once again it was also wet with 120.7 mm of rain. The number of days to record rain (17) was a little below average, but when it did rain daily totals were high and despite a relatively dry second half of the month, we still ended up with our fifth consecutive month to exceed 100 mm.

   Making comparisons with the Met' office site at Newton Rigg (Penrith) from 1961, using the averages for the standard period 1981-2010 (mean temperature of 9.1°c and 106.9 mm of rain), 45 October's have been warmer, just 5 have been colder, with one the same mean temperature. In the same period 17 October's have been wetter.


   1st - 5th    Was very unsettled with the 2nd especially a truly awful day. With a Polar maritime airmass in a strong south westerly flow and with several trough lines, the 1st was a showery day that saw 8.6 mm of rain, but the 2nd with 28.7 mm was in some ways remarkable for such a large amount of rain to fall in showery weather. However, those showers were certainly heavy and frequent and just kept on coming and thunder was heard in one particularly heavy shower in the afternoon.

   The 3rd remained showery and still with that strong south westerly wind, but the 4th was a fine, clear sunny day as we sat in a slack pressure gradient behind the previous days fronts, but still within a broad area of low pressure (LP). More troughs lines pushed through overnight into the 5th to bring a further 14.1 mm of rain.


   6th - 10th    High pressure (HP) built and became established over the UK giving a fine and settled spell with some really beautiful crisp, sunny autumn days. The nights were cold though with each morning starting with a ground frost and both the 7th (-0.6°c) and 9th recording air frosts.

   But the sun shone and day-time maximums rose to 12-13°c, average day-time maximums for October and it really was an excellent spell.


   11th - 15th    LP then took charge, but as we tended to sit within a slack area of that LP for the majority of the time it actually wasn't too bad! However, this was after a spell of heavy rain (22.5 mm) and murk on the 11th and overnight into the 12th. Cold fronts connected to LP near Iceland brought that rain and once these moved away a complex LP system became established over the UK.

   This LP became destabilised as it drew down colder air and thus brought some showers 12th, but then followed a quieter period with some good sunny spells as we were within the slack area of the LP. It tended to be on the chilly side with daytime maximums stuck around 11.5°c, but it was generally dry.

   However, the 14th had seen snow fall on the summit of Hevellyn and then the morning of the 15th saw the first light covering of snow on Cross Fell and at just 9.3°c the 15th was the first day of autumn that failed to attain 10°c.


   16th - 20th    Began with a succession of LP systems sweeping across the region for the 16-18th, although the rain tended to fall overnight with daytimes generally overcast and showery.

   The 16th was notably chilly at just 7.9°c with a brisk SW-Westerly wind, but then the 19-20th were quieter day as the LP slackened.


   21st - 24th    Started with a glorious day on the 21st (Sunday) as HP now sat over the UK and which had also started with the 100th ground frost of the year to date. But in light winds and that sun, the temperature soared to a month's high of 16.5°c (61.7°f) - and then whilst remaining mild it all went downhill.

   The 22nd-24th were all extremely dull and overcast, although mild with light winds. HP was still over the UK but warm air from the continent ventured north, bringing mild air. Unfortunately this mild air has to travel over the colder North Sea and collects moisture as it does so, generating that extensive low cloud.

   But the nights were mild with a notably high minimum of 10.3°c recorded overnight 23rd/24th.


   25th - 27th    Was a decidedly cold spell with an incursion of Arctic air. Cold fronts pushed south on the 25th displacing the warmer continental air and both the 26-27th started with air frosts, -1.4°c (29.5°f) a month's low on the 27th.

   A cold northwesterly wind blew and we had a brief snow shower on the evening of the 26th which had also been the months coldest day at just 4.9°c (40.8°f). The 27th was at least a sunny day, but then LP returned to break a run of nine days that had only seen 1.4 mm of rain.


   28th - 31st    The month ended with a succession of LP systems moving across the country bringing rain, with the 30th/31st (10.6 mm and 5.9 mm respectively) the wettest in this period.

   CONCLUSION    October continued the run of poor month's, with cold and wet a central theme. But as poor October's tend to come in two's as 1973-74, 1980-81, 1992-93 (the poorest of them all with mean temperatures of 6.0°c and 6.7°c) and 2002-03 would all testify, will October 2013 continue the trend?



   Rainfall totalled 120.7 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 17 days of which 13 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 7.5°c      --      The Mean Max' was   11.34°c     --      The Mean Min'   3.65°c.

   We had 4 Air Frosts in the month (year 44)      --      Grass frosts totalled 12 (year 103).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 7.8°c on the 28th      to      a high of 11.7°c on the 2nd     --      with a monthly mean of 9.5°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 9.7°c on the 31st      to      a high of 11.6°c on the 1st-2nd      --     with a monthly mean of 10.5°c



   * October 2012 rainfall was 110.8% of the October average for 2007 - 2011

   * October 2012 was 3.4°c colder than October 2011      --      1.17°c colder October 2010      --      2.35°c colder than 2009

  * The 3 month mean for August/September/October 2012 is                   TEMP'     11.20°c         --          RAIN    387.9 mm

* August/September/October 2011 was 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


* 2012 To date TEMP'     9.08°c -- RAIN     989.2 mm

* 2011 Jan - Oct 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


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    OCTOBER 2011    NOVEMBER 2011    DECEMBER 2011   

JANUARY 2012    FEBRUARY 2012    MARCH 2012    APRIL 2012    MAY 2012    JUNE 2012    JULY 2012    AUGUST 2012    SEPTEMBER 2012    SUMMER 2012   

   © Darren Rogers 2012

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