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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The weather in November

Last month was the second warmest November in a record that stretches back to 1659, behind only November 1994. The autumn as a whole was the second warmest, just beaten by 2006, with rainfall well below average in the east and south-east, but well above in the north and west. The November warmth can be attributed to unusually frequent south-west to south-easterly winds. This was also a factor in the dryness across much of the country, even in what are normally wet areas such as the western Highlands, the Lake District and Snowdonia. In those regions, however, exceptionally wet and windy conditions in the last week made up for the earlier absence.


The mean maximum temperature in November ranged from 14.6C at Jersey airport in the Channel Islands to 9.4C at Carter Bar, Roxburghshire. The Central England Temperature (CET) was 9.7C, 2.8 degrees higher than average, making it the highest since 1994 and the second highest on record. The highest single temperature was 18.1C at Otterbourne, Hampshire, on 13 November, and the lowest was -6.9C at Carleton near Skipton in North Yorkshire early on 7 November.


Averaged across England and Wales there was only 49mm of rain, which is 49% of the November average, the lowest for November since 1956. Only six Novembers were drier in the last 100 years. Scotland had 96mm, 90% of the average, while Northern Ireland measured 64mm, or 76%. The wettest location was Inveruglas in Dunbartonshire, where a total of 402mm of rain fell through the month, while the driest was Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, with only 11mm.


Sunshine across England and Wales was just about normal at 66 hours, or 99% of November's average. However, that was still the lowest total for seven years. Scotland had 70 hours, representing 138% of its average, and Northern Ireland recorded 79 hours, or 145%. Kinloss in Morayshire was the sunniest location with 101 hours, while Lerwick had the lowest amount of sunshine with only 29 hours.

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