The month began with a southerly airstream resulting in some exceptionally high temperatures, reaching 25-28 °C widely in England and Wales.
Some places in the west and north recorded their highest temperature of the year.
The rest of the month saw mostly mild westerly or southerly airstreams. These brought showers or longer spells of rain to the northwest, but areas towards the southeast were drier with further relatively warm days.
The mean temperature was 2.0 °C above the 1971-2000 average, resulting in provisionally the warmest October since 2006 and the eighth warmest in the last 100 years.
New October maximum temperature records were set on the 1st for England, Wales and the UK overall. There was a marked contrast in rainfall, with amounts ranging from well below average over East Anglia and southeast England to well above in Northern Ireland and western Scotland. It was one of the wettest Octobers on record over Northern Ireland.
Sunshine amounts varied from well below normal over Northern Ireland and western Scotland to well above in East Anglia. It was provisionally the dullest October on record over Northern Ireland.
A maximum temperature of 29.9 °C was recorded at Gravesend (Kent) on the 1st, provisionally the highest UK temperature on record for October. A minimum temperature of -3.3 °C was recorded at Santon Downham (Suffolk) early on the 20th.
In the 24 hours ending at 0900 on the 9th, 62.0 mm of rainfall was recorded at Brodick Castle, Isle of Arran. A wind gust of 77 m.p.h. was recorded at Killowen (County Down) on the 17th.
Diary of interesting events - October 2011
The month began with a remarkable heat-wave across England and Wales. The 1st was the warmest day of the spell, with temperatures exceeding 25 °C widely and 28-29 °C in central and eastern England.
The temperature of 29.9 °C recorded at Gravesend, Kent on the 1st was the highest October temperature on record in the UK, beating 29.4 °C at March, Cambridgeshire on 1st October 1985.
The 1st was also the warmest October day on record in Wales, with 28.2 °C at Hawarden Airport, Flintshire. On the 2nd, central and eastern England were again very warm with over 28 °C widely.
The 3rd was the last day of the heat-wave, with temperatures again exceeding 27-28 °C in southeast England. During the 3rd and 4th the wind veered towards the west, bringing frontal systems and returning temperatures to more normal autumn values.
In contrast, 60mm of rainfall in eastern parts of Northern Ireland on the 1st resulted in localised flooding of roads in County Down. On the 17th, heavy rain again caused flooding of roads and properties in parts of Northern Ireland, especially Counties Tyrone, Fermanagh and Antrim.
Central and southern Scotland were also affected, especially in Ayrshire and across the Central Belt to Edinburgh.
Persistent and at times heavy rainfall across south-west England, west Wales and Northern Ireland on the 24th, resulted in localised flooding of properties and roads. Parts of Cornwall, Pembrokeshire and County Tyrone were the areas worst affected.
On 26th, slow-moving heavy rain with thunder and hail led to localised minor flooding on some roads in Hampshire and West Sussex.
The 27th saw further persistent rain across Wales and western England.
In contrast to these wet areas, some counties in eastern England were again lacking rain and farmers there were struggling to harvest potato and sugar beet crops in the very dry conditions.