November 2023 Weather at Durham – Very Stormy start

November 2023 overall saw about average temperatures. The first two weeks were mild and unsettled. It then became rather more settled; it was still mild in the south, but the final ten days were much colder as winds turned to the north, introducing Arctic air. The start of the month continued October’s wet and windy theme with Storm Ciaran bringing disruption on the 1st-2nd, with widespread damage and flooding, particularly in the south (and it was exceptionally severe in the Channel Islands and Northern France).

A new record low atmospheric pressure for England and Wales was set in the storm, with 953.3 mbars in Plymouth and 958.5 mbars at St. Athan (South Glamorgan). At such a pressure the boiling point of water drops to 98.3C; there was some speculation about whether this fall affected the taste of tea.

A particularly severe tornado hit Jersey during the storm overnight on the 1st-2nd, bringing large hailstones, rated as T6, across 8 km, the most severe tornado in the UK since 7 December 1954.

Although the first half of the month was very wet, the dry second half meant that rainfall totals were about average, although they were still above average in the south.

Overall it was a sunnier month than average (112%), although it was dull in the southwest and east Scotland. The highest temperature of the month was 16.7C at Writtle (Essex) on the 13th, and the lowest -7.7C at Shrap (Cumbria) on the 25th. The highest rainfall in a recording day was 124.2 mm at Honister Pass (Cumbria) on 13-14th during Storm Debi.

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