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Monthly weather forecast for the UK

Changeable end to October, anticyclonic start to November, turning wet in the south towards mid-November

Updated 16th October 2017 - Covering the period 23rd October - 14th November


This period will be about 1C warmer than average over northern and eastern parts of Scotland, but the mean temperature will be closer to normal in the south and especially south-west of the country.

Rainfall totals are expected to come out close to or rather above normal in the southern half of England and in south Wales, but it will tend to be drier than normal elsewhere, especially in western Scotland.

Sunshine totals are expected to be below normal in eastern Scotland and north-east England and in East Anglia, but are most likely to be near normal elsewhere. In western Scotland and also south-western Britain it is more likely to be sunnier than average.

Monthly weather forecast
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Monday 23rd October to Sunday 29th October

This week will start unsettled and quite warm for the time of year, with predominantly south-westerly winds. It will be warmest relative to the long-term (1981-2010) normal in southern and eastern England, and closer to average in north-west Scotland. Rain belts are expected to move across the country at frequent intervals, the rain heaviest in the west, with orographic enhancement in the west and rain shadow in the east a common feature.

Winds are expected to veer to a west to north-westerly direction during the second half of this week, which means that it will turn cooler, with some rain belts continuing to move across the country but more significant brighter, showery spells in between the rain belts. Due to the mainly westerly winds, the majority of the showers will again tend to be in western areas. By the end of the week the weather will most likely quieten down with a marked anticyclone heading into the eastern mid-Atlantic from the Azores, and influencing Britain's weather, with drier weather developing in the south and south-west but still some frontal systems moving around the periphery of the high and affecting the north and east.

Mean temperatures will be up to 1C above the long-term normal in central, southern and eastern England, but a little below normal in the north and west of Scotland.

It is expected to be wetter than average in most western parts of the country, but drier than average in eastern Scotland and north-east England, especially near North Sea coasts.

Sunshine totals will tend to be below normal in the west, but near or slightly above normal in many eastern parts of the country.

Monday 30th October to Sunday 5th November

This period is expected to be more anticyclonic than usual, with a pronounced mid-Atlantic ridge early in the period with an anticyclonic/north-westerly flow over the British Isles. This will bring a fair amount of cloud, especially to the north and east of Britain, where some weak fronts will also bring light rain or drizzle at times, but with some sunshine towards the south-west in particular. Temperatures will tend to be above the seasonal norm in the north but below in the south, with some overnight frost likely where skies clear.

Later in the period the high is forecast to drift eastwards which will mean anticyclonic conditions establishing generally across the British Isles. Cloud amounts are hard to pin down at this range due to the increasing incidence of "anticyclonic gloom" at this time of year, but it is highly likely to be drier than average. Temperatures will tend to remain below normal in the south and falling close to or just below normal in the north.

Overall, mean temperatures are expected to come out 1 to 2C below the long-term normal in some southern areas, but 1 to 2C above in northern and eastern Scotland. It will be drier than average in all parts of the country and especially so in upland western areas. Sunshine totals will tend to be rather above normal in the west and south of the UK but below normal in the north-east.

Monday 6th November to Tuesday 14th November

There is somewhat more uncertainty over this period at the moment, but the most likely scenario is that the high will continue to move north-eastwards, and that this will allow unsettled conditions to increasingly push in from the south-west, with pressure falling to the west of the UK. South-easterly winds are likely to feature somewhat more frequently than usual, which means that after a cold start to the period it will turn quite mild for the time of year. Rainfall totals are expected to remain below normal in the north, but southern and especially south-western Britain may turn rather wet late in the period with some quite potent rain-bearing frontal systems, which may end up slow-moving at times. Overall, temperatures will tend to be 1 to 2C above the long-term mean. Sunshine is expected to be generally below normal except in western Scotland, and substantially below normal in the east in particular.

Monthly weather forecast
The month ahead forecast, written by Ian Simpson is updated once a week - every Monday. As with any longer term forecast, it's not possible to go into much detail and accuracy can tend to drop off toward the end of the period but it can still act as a very good guide to the weather during the upcoming month.

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