Dry month in wet year

10th October, 2014

Does anyone know what has happened to the sunshine? It would appear that our Indian summer has well and truly come to an end, with temperatures plummeting and wet and windy conditions taking control of our weather in recent days.

In the last week we have seen temperatures fall back in line with what we would expect to see for the time of year; with daytime temperatures falling between 5-10 degrees Celsius and evening temperatures only just remaining in double figures. This comes after several weeks where our weather has been controlled by dominant areas of high pressure - resulting in the warm and sunny conditions that we have enjoyed.

Unsettled October

Over the weekend that high pressure finally gave way to Atlantic lows and, as a result, we can expect October to be a far more unsettled month. Already we have seen wet and windy weather cause considerable disruption across the country:

  • Power lines and street lights were knocked out in the eastern counties of Northern Ireland.
  • South Wales experienced serious disruption following strong winds and flooding.
  • 70MPH winds in Cumbria resulted in the closure of two schools.
  • High winds and floods caused disruption in parts of Scotland, with ferry sailings in the Hebrides delayed and The Skye Bridge closed for several hours.


When you compare the weather we have seen in recent days with that which we saw last month it could not be any more different. Early figures from the Met Office suggest that it could go down as the driest September since records began in 1910, with many parts of the country receiving exceptionally low levels of rainfall for the time of year.

  • The UK as a whole received an average of just 19.4mm of rain in September, beating the previous record of 23.8mm in 1959.
  • This represents just 20% of the normal rainfall expected for September.
  • Northern Ireland saw its driest September on record, with just 6.5mm of rainfall.
  • England, Wales and Scotland experienced their second driest September.

In addition to low levels of rainfall the UK also saw above average temperatures for the time of year. The average daytime temperature across the country was 13.9C - 1.2C higher than the long term average; making it the fourth warmest September as a result.

Wet year

The dry conditions we saw in September have helped to make up for what has otherwise been an exceptionally wet year. It comes off the back of the eighth wettest August on record and the wet and stormy conditions that caused considerable disruption and damage at the beginning of the year; itself the wettest winter on record. Safe to say that 2014 will go down as a record breaking year for good and bad reasons!

Mark Wilson, a meteorologist at the Met Office, explains more about the record breaking September in the video below.

Sun shining through a tree

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