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October heatwaves of the past


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Well, it is now the time to write an article on this. This weekend sees the eleventh anniversary of that exceptional October day in 1995, and falls on the correct day of the week as well, it was Sunday October 8th, when from a sunny, clear blue sky, temperatures reached 25*C over a wide area of the UK, from London all the way up to Leeds, around the latest date in the year 25*C was registered in the UK, and the warm weather continued through the whole of the second week of October 1995 with day temps in the low 20s in many areas. This was one of the most legendary October heatwaves of the past and was part of one of the four warmest Octobers on record in the UK, and the last true warm dry October.

I know two of the other warmest Octobers on record have occurred since then, in 2001 and 2005, but neither of them produced a notable heatwave anything like what we saw in 1995, and this was the last occasion I am aware of that a week of maxes into the 20s occurred widely in the UK so late in the year. To find other notable October heatwaves we have to look at early October 1985 which saw temps up to 28-29*C on the 1st, but temps fell to average levels by the 3rd/4th, and a similar heatwave occurred in early October 1959, and October 1969, which was, until 2001, the warmest on record, saw a prolonged spell similar to October 1995.

This is a thread discussing past October heatwaves, at the anniversary also to the day of the week as the one in 1995, and for anyone else to post other occasions of October heatwaves and notable warm spells.

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Although 8th October 1995 was a notably warm day( 20.4c here), it's eclipsed by October 1st 1985 in this area when the max' reached an astonishing 22.8c with 23.1c at Buxton, worthy of a warm July day.

I remember it feeling like mid summer in continuous sunshine and a light wind.

Other notably warm October days in this area include 22.8c on the 3rd in 1959, 22.2c on the 1st in 1922, the October record of 25.0c on the 6th in 1921 and 23.9c on the 1st in 1908.

T.M

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From yesterday's Weather Eye:

In 1921 October was remarkably hot, and the sunniest October on record. Crowds flocked to the seaside in temperatures hitting the high 20s celsius (80s F), and The Daily Telegraph reported on October 21: “No hotel rooms were available within a 50-mile radius of Blackpool and holidaymakers were forced to camp in tram shelters on the promenade.”

Temperatures peaked at 29C (84F) in London where The Times noted: “Two or three men, it’s true, were detected without their waistcoats.”

It was an extraordinary year for hot, dry weather, thanks to persistent anticyclones that lasted into late October. By then the country was in chronic drought; the annual ploughing match at Margate had to be postponed because the ground was so hard.

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Fine little article there, Shuggee. I remember reading somewhere that Margate recorded only 9.20 inches of rain during the whole of 1921, little wonder the ground was too hard.

As for 'two or three men detected without their waistcoats', absolutely deplorable, it's this sort of thing that lost us the Empire sir, bah!

T.M

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According to my weather records, the highest October temperature recorded at Cleadon between 1994 and 2005 was 22.5C, on 8 October 1995. Next up was 1 October 2002 (22C) and 18 October 1997 (21.2C).

Near approaches to 20C were 11 October 1994 (19.5C), 10 October 1999 (19.4C), and 11 October 2001 (19.8C).

The other noteworthy October maximum I recorded was 18.9C on 27 October 2005; a very similar day in many ways to 8 October 1995, but not quite as warm due to it being near the end of the month.

However, two sources- Philip Eden's 1995 Weatherwise book and also Trevor Harley's Britweather site- suggest that the area reached 25C on 1 October 1985, which was also the warmest day of that entire year.

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