The month began under the threat of Hurricane Lorenzo, that had formed in Mid-Atlantic and was approaching from the west. This was the strongest hurricane to have been recorded so far east in the Atlantic. It produced waves as high as an eight-storey building around the Azores.
Fortunately for this country Lorenzo had been downgraded to a storm by the time it crossed our shores. However, Lorenzo did bring winds gusting to 31 mph, combined with considerable rainfall amounting in Marlborough to 8.4mm on October 1.
This set the pattern for the remainder of the month as the powerful jet stream, running at in excess of 150mph, produced a conveyor belt of depressions arriving from the Atlantic.
There was an exceptionally wet and windy period around the second week in the month. Several days produced rainfall in double digits, 15.1mm, 28.7mm and 15.4mm on October 11, 13 and 14 respectively.
The rainfall average for the month of 83.6mm was overtaken by October 13, and continued to be added to throughout most of the month, producing a monthly total of 153.1mm, which was 183 per cent of the 35-year average or 69.5mm above it.
Interestingly this was similar to the wet September that gave us 181 per cent of the 35-year average. During the first ten months of 2019 we have received 749mm of precipitation – against the 35-year average of 665mm.
We were not alone in the deluge of rainfall. Having visited Spain and Portugal in mid October it was no warmer than the UK and almost as wet. Towards the end of the month, Southern France recorded 198mm of rain in six hours.
On October 26 a long straggling weather front, tailing back 3,000 miles into the south Atlantic, produced another 13.5mm of rainfall in Marlborough and wind gusts up to 36mph as it approached. However, we again got off lightly as areas to the west were inundated with torrential rain. For example Libanus close to the Brecon Beacons received 107mm in twenty-four hours.
On many occasions I have noticed that such exceptional rainfall occurs to the west or east of our central England area.
There were just eight dry days in October. With so many depressions crossing the country, is not surprising that this was well below the monthly average of 14 dry days.
Due to the many cloudy, gloomy days the temperatures were depressed producing a mean of 9.66C, which was 0.8C below the 35-year average. The two contrasting years were in 1992 with a mean of 6.95C and the wonderful autumnal October of 2001 with a mean of 12.77C.
The month started with a few warm days – the thermometer reached 19.1C on October 1. It ended with the coldest day when a maximum of only 8.9C was recorded on the 28th, which was 5.8C below the average.
There just two days when an air frost occurred with the coldest morning on October 28 with a minimum of -1.8C.
You can read daily reports and much more on Eric Gilbert’s Windrush Weather website.