Friday gave us a very pleasant autumnal day with the temperature climbing above average (+1.8C) with a peak of 16.3C. The mainly light, but occasionally brisk southwest wind, moved the clouds along but allowed 6.0 hours of sunshine.
The clearing skies meant a cool night with the thermometer dropping to 6.9C (-0.2C) just after midnight when the temperature began to rise as cloud drifted in ahead of the next rain band.
Dawn on Saturday revealed a sky full of foreboding with very red clouds briefly on the eastern horizon that soon changed to thicker, grey cloud as the rain was imminent.
September 2021 Review
The start of September saw the continuation of cloudy, grey days that we endured in late August with cool northeast and easterly breezes. However, by the 5th the anticyclone had relocated further south and a little closer with the result that the air mass came from the Continent and brought warmth and sunshine.
Continental Air arrived on the 6th that saw the thermometer rise to 28.9C, which was a record for the hottest September day since my records began in 1984. However, that high was exceeded on the 7th with a peak of 29.2C, which was 10.5C above the 37-year average and Marlborough was in the hottest area of the UK for that day. The following day was the last of the hot weather with a maximum of 28.3C.
The barometric pressure had been falling for two days allowing an Atlantic depression to approach the UK that brought the first rain after 16 dry days, during the early evening of the 7th, amounting to 1.2mm.
An analysis of my records show that in May 2020 there were 19 consecutive dry days and 21 in April 2007. However, the record was set with the exceptional dry spell that occurred at the end of April and beginning of May 1984 with 26 consecutive dry days.
The middle of the month was decidedly cool with temperatures around or just below the average due to a northerly breeze and 12.8mm of rain on the 14th, the second wettest day in September.
During the third week we enjoyed very warm air brought to us from the Azores that produced maxima several degrees above the average and many hours of sunshine during the very pleasant dry days.
Autumn finally arrived on the 27th as a cold front crossed the area and a drop of 4C within ten minutes as the cooler air arrived. The last four days in the month saw maximum temperatures a degree or two below the 37-year average with wet and windy days. The rainfall on the 28th amounted to 20.5mm. This was the wettest day in September and the wettest day since October 4th 2020. The unsettled weather on the 30th produced a gust of wind measured at 31mph making it the strongest gust since 23rd May.
September 2021 was the second warmest that I have recorded since the station was set up in 1984, being a significant 2.3C above the 37-year average. Looking at the separate day and night data I found that the mean maximum was 2.3C above average, a record, with the mean minimum being 1.9C above average, but only the third warmest.
The monthly rainfall of 63.6mm was just 1.6mm above the 37-year average. Due to the many dry and warm days the equivalent rainfall of 49.2mm was lost through evaporation from ground sources and plant life. The rainfall for the period January to September was 33mm below the average.
Fog that limited visibility to 200m (6th, 7th and 18th) to 1100mm (5th) was observed during the early morning of eight days.
The Met Office, along with partners Met Eireann and KNMI, announced recently the storm names for use in the 2021/22 season, which runs from September 2021 through to the end of August 2022. As in previous years, the names chosen have been selected by the three national meteorological organizations, but this year the UK public had its say on the names the Met Office put forward for consideration.
Over 10,000 submissions were made by the UK public, with the names selected by the Met Office reflecting some of the more popular choices, as well as some of the heart-warming reasons behind the nominations.
The names chosen reflect the diversity of the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands and the first storm that will be named by the group this year will be Arwen, a name which is thought to be of Welsh origin and was popularised by Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings books.
Other names included on the list are Kim, with reasons behind its nomination including a ‘whirlwind’ relative and a self-confessed weather watcher.
Logan, a name of Scottish origin, was nominated by several parents and grandparents, including a mention of a grandson who ‘runs through the house like a tornado’ and one who is ‘as quick as lightning’ when playing as a goalkeeper.
A cat who ‘comes in and acts like a storm’, has also found her name on the list, with Storm Ruby making the final cut. This is a name that was also nominated for a daughter who ‘leaves a trail of destruction’ when she comes in the house.
Dudley fought off competition from seven other names beginning with D to top a poll, which ran on Twitter last month, which had over 12,000 votes. One reason Dudley was originally submitted was for a couple who are due to get married in 2022 and will then share the last name of Dudley. They wrote, “We find it comical to name a storm for us getting married.”
While the names of storms can be light-hearted, the impacts from storms can be severe. Names were selected on a range of criteria, including whether it is being used by other storm naming groups, whether there have been significant impacts from previous storms with the same name and if it is a name that has already been used in recent years by the group.
Storms will be named by the group when they’re deemed to cause ‘medium’ or ‘high’ impacts in the UK, Ireland or the Netherlands. In addition to strong winds, impacts from rain and snow will also be considered in the naming process.
The naming of storms is intended to help the media and public better communicate the impacts of potential severe weather events, helping people to stay safe and protect themselves and their property ahead of inclement weather. If a storm has already been named by another storm naming group before it impacts the UK, the original name will be used in communications about it.
Will Lang, Head of the National Severe Weather Warning Service at the Met Office, said: “This is now the seventh year of us naming storms with our European partners and we look forward to continuing to work together with them to raise awareness around the impacts of severe weather in order to help keep people from all nations safe. We’re all aware of some of the severe weather that has been witnessed across Europe and globally in recent months and we work to use any tool at our disposal to ensure the public is informed of potential risks, and naming storms is just one way we do that. We know naming storms helps raise awareness of the impacts of severe weather and ensures clarity for the public when they need it most.”