Hot October days shatter records

Tuesday 04th Oct 2011 by theWeather Club

Records, records everywhere. The record for the UK’s highest temperature recorded in October now stands at a lofty 29.9°C. It was set at 14:42 in Gravesend, Kent beating the previous record of 29.4°C recorded on 1st October 1985 in March, Cambridgeshire. But while TV cameras and press photographers focussed their attention on the south of the country, with pictures of hoards of people in London’s parks and south coast beaches, other parts of the country were also basking in record temperatures. In Wales, a new October record was set at 28.2°C in Hawarden, Flintshire, at 14:12, the Met Office confirmed. In Edinburgh on Wednesday the high was 24.7°C - the warmest day in Scotland for the time of year for more than 50 years. Met Office forecaster Andrew Sibley said: “We have had southerly wind for several days which has brought very warm air up from the south.” Temperatures in England even surpassed those in Athens, Los Angeles and Barcelona.

On Friday, Cambridge set a new record temperature for the hottest ever 30th September at 29.2°C, beating the 27.8°C set in Maidenhead, Berkshire in 1908, while the previous day Kew Gardens in west London set another record at 28.8°C – the highest ever 29th September temperature, beating the mark of 27.8°C set in York in 1985. Lauren Cherry, manageress of The Rum Puncheon Public House, Gravesend, said that the record-breaking day had been a busy one. “We've been rushed off our feet because we have a patio overlooking the Thames,” she told reporters. “Everyone’s been quite shocked about the weather, but pleased. I’m surprised we broke the record.”

Thousands of people changed weekend plans and headed to beaches across the south of England. Visit Brighton believes that 300,000 people flocked to the seafront over the weekend. Officials from the organisation reported a 30% increase in people clicking on to the city’s official tourist website and calls to its visitor information centre rose by more than half in the run up to the weekend. Train companies in south-eastern parts of the country said they were expecting 25% more passengers weekend as people headed to the coast to take advantage of the sunshine.

It wasn’t only the British public who changed their plans because of the hot weather. Experts at the Royal Horticulture Society said confused plants started to flower again due to the unseasonably warm weather. Strawberries and rhododendrons were among the plants seen blooming at its flagship garden in Surrey - they were not expected to flower again until next spring. Confusion may have reigned, but it was happy confusion across large parts of the country. Alas all good things must come to an end. BBC Weather forecaster Holly Green said that the unbroken sunny spell was about to come to an end. “On Tuesday temperatures will become much closer to what you would expect at this time of the year,” she said. "Things are becoming cloudier and breezier. The unsettled picture for northern parts of the UK will stay that way for next week.”