Weather Images

Figure 1-4

Figure 1.

The weather took a rather sharper nose-dive into autumn than usual in September, with a warm first half and chilly second half. The last warm day was the 15th, when the temperature reached 22.9°C at Heathrow, and the visible satellite image for 1303 utc (courtesy University of Dundee) shows most places enjoyed a sunny day. It was, though, cloudy and chilly towards western coasts, and the cold front that was shortly to take away the warmth can be seen off northwest Scotland.

Figure 2.

Although it was cooler, there was a lot of dry and sunny weather during the third week of the month, and another mostly sunny Saturday is shown here with the visible image for 1329 utc on the 22nd (courtesy University of Dundee). This was the last day of a dry spell in much of the southeast that had been just as marked as the much-quoted drought of early in the year, with around 35mm of rain in 9 weeks. To the southwest is the developing depression that was about to swamp the country.

Figure 3.

Rain and blustery winds extended slowly north during 23 September. This rainfall image (courtesy of is for 1300 utc, and shows the heaviest rain falling over the parched southeast; thunder occurred near the southeast coast. It was the coldest September day for many years across much of the south; afternoon temperatures of barely 10°C contrasted with readings in the low 20s over northeast France. Northern Britain was mostly sunny but chilly after a sharp frost in places.

Figure 4.

Between Figures 3 and 4, plenty of water had flowed under the bridges! The rainfall image (courtesy of for 0600 utc on 25 September shows the rain area at about its furthest north (it barely affected northernmost Scotland). Excessive rain fell on northern England and Wales, but the widely-quoted statement that this was the worst September storm for 30 years was, at best, ambiguous: warm seas and ex-tropical storms quite often trigger similar events at this time of year.