Storm Babet lets us off lightly – a review of the weather of October 2023

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Gernon Bushes in warm mid-October sunshine, with little sign of Autumn colour as yet

Storm Babet lets us off lightly

A review of the weather of October 2023

There’s no doubt the main weather event nationally for October was the passage of Storm Babet, which arrived on 18th and lingered, slow-moving, until 21st. There were some dreadful scenes of severe flooding from many parts of the country, including just a little way north of us in Suffolk, where some places recorded in excess of 100mm (four inches) of rain in those four days.

We were lucky to escape the worst of that, receiving ‘only’ 46mm in those same four days, but it added to a generally wet month. Babet was the second of three depressions to pass across us in the second half of the month, and each delivered plenty of rain – in fact the first of those was responsible for our wettest day of the month, with 22.2mm falling appropriately on Friday 13th. The total for the month as a whole was 112.0mm, which whilst well above our long term average for October of 69.7mm (October is on average our wettest month), is not exceptional – three of the last four years have seen October totals over 100mm, and our record October was in 2000 with 161.7mm.

The barometer showed clearly the three depressions passing over us, with Babet giving us our lowest October pressure on record, of 974.4hPa (or millibars, as they used to be called). However, it wasn’t particularly windy here, the maximum recorded on two days was 26mph, or Force 5. Unusually, Storm Babet’s southerly track meant some of the stronger winds coming from a south-easterly to easterly quarter.

The barometer also shows that we had a fair bit of settled weather under high pressure conditions in the first half of the month, and our temperature maximum of 26.4°C on 9th was our second warmest ever October day. The average day maximum of 17.3°C was also the second warmest in our 39 years of records, and the mean for the month as a whole at 13.1°C was exceeded by only five other Octobers.

MeasureUnitMinimumAverageMaximumAverage minAverage maxTotal
Relative humidity%518496
Wind source (most common/highest gust)SectorWSWWSW
Wind speedmph2.62615.4
Rain daily accumulationmm3.722.2113.2
Barometric pressurehPa974.41006.21026
Solar irradiance during daylightW/m²152686453
Sunshine (sunny if irradiance > 120 W/m2)Hours5.58.5169

So as we head into November and wait anxiously for the advent of Storm Ciarán, don’t forget to check back with us to see if it proved to be worse or not as bad as Storm Babet.

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