October warmest on record

The UK is on course for the warmest October ever, despite torrential rain and heavy floods, forecasters said yesterday.

The UK is on course for the warmest October ever, despite torrential rain and heavy floods, forecasters said yesterday.

At 13.6C (56.5F), this month's average temperature is the highest since records began in 1659. The previous record of 13C (55.4F) was set in 1969 and the average temperature for October would usually be around 10.5C (51F).

"It's quite extraordinary," said Steve Randall, national forecaster at the meteorological office.

"We've had exceptionally mild weather, considerably warmer than September. We are on course for an all time record, and temperatures of 20C (68F) are on the cards for spots in eastern England."

The existing record for October 30 is 19.4C (67F), set at Reading in 1927.

But Mr Randall said that high temperatures had been matched by high rainfall, around one and a half times the usual level for October.

"Winds coming in from the south and south-west are bringing in warmer air from over the Atlantic," he said.

Today and tomorrow will remain warm with some rain, but the autumn heatwave is likely to reach an abrupt end as November begins, with parts of the country seeing their first frosts.

Scientists have found that plants are flowering earlier than they used to and one study suggested that oak trees are coming into leaf in Surrey three weeks earlier than they did in the 1950s.

Simon Tett of the met office's Hadley centre for climate prediction and research said: "Our climate models tell us we would expect to see milder winters and warmer and probably drier summers, but more rainfall overall."


Tania Branigan

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Wet winters 'five times more likely'
Extremely wet winters could become five times more frequent in the coming century in Asia, northern Europe and Britain, forecasters warn today.

Tim Radford, science editor

31, Jan, 2002 @10:04 AM

Article image
2012 expected to be ninth warmest year on record

World Meteorological Organisation data shows average global temperature to date is 14.45C, higher than long-term average

Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent

28, Nov, 2012 @11:30 AM

Article image
Met Office: 2010 was second warmest year on record

UK data shows last year was the second warmest after 1998 – while US agencies record it as the joint warmest

Sylvia Rowley

20, Jan, 2011 @4:14 PM

Article image
Climate change makes past five-year period the warmest on record: WMO
UN weather body says man-made global warming and El Niño oceanic phenomenon made 2011-2015 the warmest five-year period on record

Arthur Neslen

25, Nov, 2015 @12:52 PM

Article image
England and Wales record warmest winter since 1910
Met Office figures for 2016 also show long-term decrease in amount of frost, while last winter was the second wettest on record across the country

Damian Carrington Environment editor

27, Jul, 2017 @12:44 PM

Warmest April average temperature since records began in 1659

Last month was officially the warmest April since records began in 1659, with temperatures peaking at more than 26C (79F), meteorologists confirmed today.

Press Association

02, May, 2007 @3:44 PM

Scientists' survival tip: go with the flow
British scientists have just issued a hot tip for survival when the fan has broken down and the thermometer is up. It saves energy and exploits everyday household technology.

Tim Radford, science editor

07, Aug, 2003 @7:35 AM

Spring sprung weeks earlier as Britain heats up
Spring came earlier this year to Britain. Hazel trees flowered 23 days earlier than in 2001, and the first carpets of bluebells emerged 16 days earlier, according to a study by the Woodland Trust.

Tim Radford, science editor

04, Sep, 2002 @8:49 AM

Article image
2020 likely to be one of warmest years on record despite La Niña
Climate crisis exacerbates extreme weather during natural events, say experts

Patrick Barkham

29, Oct, 2020 @11:00 AM

Danger on the seas as walls of water sink tankers
Call to tighten safety design as scientists admit to being baffled by deadly 100ft rogue waves.

Robin McKie and Mark Townsend

10, Nov, 2002 @11:14 AM