November 2012. Rather cold and mostly wet. Much flooding during the fourth week


  • Philip Eden

Pressure was quite high over southern Britain between the 6th and 8th and from the 12th to the 16th, otherwise low pressure was dominant. Anomalies ranged from –7mbar in the Western Isles to −4.5mbar in Kent and southwest Ireland. Rain fell frequently and often heavily between the 20th and 27th, triggering widespread and repeated flooding.

For the first five days of the month a complex depression lay over the UK. Frost developed widely in Scotland early on the 1st with a minimum of −6.4°C at Kinbrace (Sutherland). There was a good deal of rain in the south on the 4th as a secondary depression tracked quickly northeast across the area, and snow fell in many upland parts of the West Country and south Wales for a time. Meanwhile, the day's high was just 2.2°C at a misty Leeming (N Yorks). Nevertheless there were also good sunny spells, especially on the 2nd and the 5th. A ridge of high pressure extended across southern districts from the 6th–8th, and East Malling (Kent) reported 8.7h of bright sunshine on the 7th. A westerly airflow over central and northern Britain led to copious rainfall on western upslopes, and 95mm fell at Cluanie Inn (Wester Ross) during those three days, whilst temperatures climbed to 14°C locally in eastern Scotland on the 7th in the rain-shadow. Winds backed southwesterly on the 9th and 10th, and there was further rain at times, especially in western Scotland.

The period 12th–17th was the warmest part of November with a broad southwesterly flow covering the British Isles, and pressure relatively high over England and Wales – at least until the 15th. There was a good deal of rain on some days in western and northern districts, but amounts of rain were small in the east and south. The temperature climbed to 16.4°C at Kew Gardens (London) on the 13th, and to 15.2°C at Hampton (London) on the 14th, but the next two days were somewhat colder with areas of fog.

A very disturbed south to southwesterly flow developed between the 19th and 24th; a deep depression crossed southern England on the 24th/25th followed by a further depression on the 25th/26th. During this period there were long spells of heavy rain: largest daily totals were 49mm at Murlough (Co Down) on the 18th, 51mm at Dunkeswell (Devon) on the 20th, 48mm at Shap (Cumbria) on the 22nd, 75mm at Culdrose (Cornwall) on the 24th, and 54mm at Capel Curig (Caernarfon) on the 26th. Between 150mm and 200mm fell over large parts of Cornwall, Devon, north Wales and Cumbria between the 19th and 26th. Flooding was particularly bad in Cornwall, Devon, and at St Asaph (Denbighshire), and there was wind damage too, notably on the 22nd when a gust of 75kn was registered at Capel Curig.

A cold northerly flow developed from the 27th onwards, and there were widespread night frosts with −7.3°C logged at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) on the 29th, while on the 30th the day's maximum was −1.1°C at Warcop (Cumbria). There were good sunny spells especially on the 29th and 30th.

Both mean maximum and mean minimum temperatures were between 0 and 1 degC below the 1981–2010 normal, with the biggest negative anomalies in Northern Ireland, northwest England and Wales. The first half of the month was moderately dry, and in eastern Scotland and Northern Ireland rainfall totals for the whole month were 20–40% below the long-term mean, with only 26mm at Kinloss (Moray). Elsewhere, though, it was a wet month with percentages approaching 200 locally in the Midlands and West Country, whilst Cluanie Inn recorded 317mm. It was a fairly sunny month over much of the UK, and 97h of bright sunshine was recorded at East Malling (Kent).


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§ All averages are for the period 1981–2010, except for stations marked with an asterisk, for which averages are for the period 1961–1990.

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