What weather should we expect in October?

October is the month when we really notice the reduction in daylight and the approach of winter.

Sunrise is 7:08am on the 1st of the month, with the sun setting at 18:43pm. The sunrise gets later until 28th October when it doesn’t rise until 8:00am. Then the clocks go back on the 29th October and it’s back to 7:02am! Unfortunately, sunset is now 16:37pm, so that makes us feel bad.

The temperatures can be wildly different, with the start of October sometimes seeing 20 degC, but there can be some noticeable frosts in the second half of the month.

October in Durham (Means 1991-2020)

Mean Max: 13.5 degC

Mean Min: 6.5 degC

Mean: 10.0 degC

Air Frosts: 1.2 days

Sunshine: 98.9 hrs

Rainfall: 63.4 mm

Days rain: 11.8 days

October has warmed slightly in the last 30 years and has become slightly duller, with an extra day of rain on average.

Sunshine is around 3.3 hours per day on average, which isn’t brilliant, but as we approach the end of the year it can keep spirits up. In some Octobers, we can get what is described as an ‘Indian Summer‘. This is a term which is often misused.

An Indian Summer is a warmer than normal period of weather after the first frosts of Autumn have occured.

The original source of the phrase is uncertain, several writers have speculated it may originally have referred to a spell of warm, hazy autumn conditions that enabled Indigenous Americans to continue hunting. Whatever the origin of the phrase, it evidently first was used in the eastern United States.

Nearly 12 days with rain makes most Octobers feel damp, and the ground is nearly always that way as it never really gets the opportunity to dry out. The sun is weakening and hasn’t really got the poke to evaporate all the excess moisture.

Extremes in October (Durham)

Mean Temp : 10.0 degC
Warmest : 12.7 degC in 2001.
Coldest : 6.1 degC in 1896.
Abs Max Temp : 25.3 degC on 1st Oct, 2011.
Abs Min Temp : -5.3 degC on 25th Oct, 1926.

Mean Rainfall : 63.7 mm
Wettest : 201.8 mm in 1903.
Driest : 9.6 mm in 1969.
Wettest Day : 63.7 mm on 8th Oct, 1903.

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