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Wednesday, 31 October, 2001, 15:53 GMT
October set to break weather records
Floods in Bocking, near Braintree, Essex in October
October may have been warm, but it was also wet
This October has broken all records for warm weather - despite the rain clouds - experts are set to confirm.

The average temperature for the month - 13.2C (55.8F) - has been the highest since records began in 1659, beating the previous best set in 1969.

Rainfall has been high too, but not on the same scale as last October.


We still have one final day to go but the figures are very likely to confirm a record October

Andy Yeatman, Met Office
The final figures for this month will not be officially released until Wednesday afternoon at the earliest, but experts say it looks certain to be a record-breaking month.

Met Office spokesman Andy Yeatman said: "We still have one final day to go but the figures are very likely to confirm a record October."

But the month of November is expected to bring changes, with colder weather on the cards and the first ground frosts for some parts of the UK.

Sunshine

In 1969, when the previous record was set, the average temperature was 13C (55.4F).

This October's average is 2.6C above the normal average for the month, after a series of sunny days.

But October has not been without its showers.

The England and Wales Rain Series - which measures rainfall - puts this month's rainfall 60% above the normal rainfall.

Mr Yeatman said 138mm of rain fell during the month.

"This was high but not as much as last October, when 188mm of rain fell in the whole of the month," he said.

Mild air

"In autumn and winter, warm weather often goes hand in hand with rainfall," he added.

The PA Weather Centre confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that this month had been the warmest ever.

The Met office is expected to confirm its statistics on Thursday morning.

The unusual warmth has been caused by winds blowing from the south or south west for much of the month, bringing very mild air from Spain and the Azores.

Britons have enjoyed temperatures of 13.6C in central England, with Herne Bay in Kent achieving the highest temperature of 25.3C on 13 October.

Mr Yeatman said: "A temperature like this in October is a very rare event. It is a record, but it follows a trend in the last 100 years for quite warm Octobers. Last October was the exception.

"This weather extreme is another piece of the jigsaw towards the global warming theory."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Sangeeta Mhaiskar in Kent
"Farmers say that winters are getting warmer and wetter, summers drier and longer"
See also:

27 Oct 01 | England
Flood warnings continue
24 Oct 01 | UK
'It's like Venice here'
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