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The remarkable heatwave of late September-early October 2011


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I remember being on the beach and thinking "dogs aren't allowed on the beach" then remembering it was 1st October so they were. We all got sunburnt despite sun cream. Beach was packed, more than in summer as it was such a novelty

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Yesssss that was when me and some friends took the opportunity to have a long weekend camping in the unusual heat. We were sat on top the sand dunes at Oxwich Bay on the Gower Peninsula in the early hours and we kept going "Guys...it's the 1st of October!!!"

 

The fact we could lie under the stars with clear skies and warmth at that time of year was amazing.

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Just the first 3 days here, see below, but unusual heat for here

29.6  25.0  26.9

The month as a whole, in spite of no more really hot days, ended up almost 3C above the RAF Finningley 50 year average.

 

The data below shows it was a 'heatwave' of a week or more for this area

 

last 4 days Sept and 1st 5 of Oct mean=19.1C 8 days back to 27 sept avge max=26.2C Edited by johnholmes
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A Quite remarkable heatwave for the time of year-in fact 2011 seemed permanently mild as we had a bit of a heatwave around April (which lead to a good forecast for Royal Wedding Day.) although Summer was not that we great through. We also had one of the mildest Christmases on record that year (a stark contrast to 2010 when the last White Christmas happened and yes i do count snow lying on the ground on Xmas Day as a White Christmas.)  

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Even at Cleadon near the Tyne and Wear coast it got up to 25C on three of the days, with mostly unbroken sunshine.  Indeed, the temperatures during that spell were hotter than anything recorded during July or August 2011 or the entire of the calendar year of 2007.

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I would say the cold equivalent of this event was the last week of March 2013 in recent times. Both events were just 18 months apart.

Shows the thermal lag in the climate very well. The sun is actually higher and the day longer in the last week of March than in the last of September and yet there is about 20+C between the two events.

Edited by Weather-history
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The last week of March as so cold! We were in Devon for Easter weekend and I walked around the whole time with a coat and scarf!

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Very nice indeed, especially after a summer notable for its lack of heat and frustrating NW/SE splits. Before this I'd always found it hard to imagine the high 20s being reached in October (as happened in 1985), but this was up there with a select group of autumn heatwaves (including 1895 and 1921). We were so, so close to seeing 30C in October for the first time, with the highest official reading being 29.9C.

 

Just a shame the NW/SE crap returned on the 2nd and that the rest of autumn was so bland (November was rubbish).

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Some max temps from that day:

 

Gravesend, Kent 29.9C

Charlwood, Surrey 29.1C

Coleshill, Warwickshire 29.1C

St James Park, London 29.1C

Northolt, London 29.0C

Heathrow Airport, London 28.8C

Church Fenton, North Yorkshire 28.6C

Cranwell, Lincolnshire 28.6C

Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire 28.5C

Pershore, Worcestershire 28.4C

 

In October 1985, it reached 27.5C in Leeds.

Edited by cheese
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There have been plenty of October heatwaves,2005,2001,1995,1978,1965,1959,1941,19301921.

1908 holds the Scottish record of 27.2 deg

in 1965 22 deg was recorded in northern Scotland on the 22nd

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  • 1 month later...

I came across some old weather forecasts on Youtube for the October 2011 heatwave. With the models painting a bleak picture for the remainder of this summer, it was a nice reminder of how autumn can come up trumps.

 

What was the cause of that heatwave? Was it an extraordinary set up that's not likely to be repeated any time soon?

 

I'd forgotten how long it went on for - there were several days of real heat which followed a warm end to September. I was in the USA for the two weeks after where the weather was also extra warm, so I timed it well and had about four weeks of my own mini summer. :p It was a shock when I returned home though because England had gone into full autumnal mode!

 

 

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82F on the 1st of October not to bad. Interestingly wasn't our warmest October that was October 2001 with 13C compared to 12.2C.

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82F on the 1st of October not to bad. Interestingly wasn't our warmest October that was October 2001 with 13C compared to 12.2C.

October 2001 has not stuck in the memory at all. The only thing that I remember connected with that month is that John Kettley did a long range annual forecast for 2001 and went for a cold October at the start of the year. Besides that I can't remember anything about that month and have to refer to my weather diary entries and the forecasts I taped from that month.
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  • 6 years later...

9 years ago since the peak of this heatwave. It was a fantastic spell of weather, it did feel weird sunbathing at such a late time of the year however, most of the garden was in the shade because of the low sun angle and the sun felt really weak even though it was touching 30C. I also remember there were a lot more bugs and spiders about then usual!

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6 hours ago, Summer18 said:

9 years ago since the peak of this heatwave. It was a fantastic spell of weather, it did feel weird sunbathing at such a late time of the year however, most of the garden was in the shade because of the low sun angle and the sun felt really weak even though it was touching 30C. I also remember there were a lot more bugs and spiders about then usual!

This was an awesome spell of weather, remember it felt strange as well with the low sun and long shadows.  One of the best spells of weather during 'the years without a summer' ie 11 and 12.  The other 2 that stand out were in april 11 and March 12.

Remember on the sunday our local half marathon (which are run in either spring or autumn for this exact reason!) was run in 27C heat.  Hadn't taken up running by then so didnt physically experience it though

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It’ll be a much much different feeling 1st October 9 years later. Sunny intervals forecast tomorrow here but highs of only 12°C and a chilly night ahead.

 

Funnily enough I don’t remember that heatwave at all. I remember the warmth in September 2011 but not in October 2011.

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1 minute ago, East Lancs Rain said:

It’ll be a much much different feeling 1st October 9 years later. Sunny intervals forecast tomorrow here but highs of only 12°C and a chilly night ahead.

 

Funnily enough I don’t remember that heatwave at all. I remember the warmth in September 2011 but not in October 2011.

When we refer to the warmth of September 2011, we're basically talking about the last 3-4 days that continued on to be the warmth of October, so the same spell of weather. The rest of September prior to that, although mild, was pretty unsettled and often wet.

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