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UK autumn 2022 weather outlook

A look at the latest data and background signals


25/08/2022

By

The first look ahead to the autumn was issued in July and it strongly favoured above average temperatures with indications of it being drier than the norm in the south. How have things changed since then?

Monthly temperature trend in 2022

The Central England Temperature (CET) has consistently been above average so far this year.

July and August both brought periods of extreme heat and 40C was recorded for the first time in the UK.

Month CET Anomaly
January 4.7 0.8
February 6.9 3.1 
March 8.0 2.3
April 9.2 1.3
May 13.1 1.9
June 14.9 0.8
July 18.2 2.2
August (provisional to the 24th) 19.2 3.4

Overview of autumns 2020 and 2021

Autumn 2020 was 0.5C warmer than average with a UK mean temperature of 9.9C.

The UK mean temperature for Autumn 2021 was 10.9C which is 1.4C above the 1981 - 2010 average.  

The monthly temperature anomalies were:

September: 2.1C
October: 1.4C
November: 0.8C

The UK rainfall total relative to the 1981 - 2010 average was 82%. The monthly statistics were:

September: 82%
October: 128%
November: 63%

Sunshine totals were 94% of the 1981-2010 average. The monthly statistics were:

September: 96%
October: 87%
November: 101%

In recent years there has been a tendency for months to be above rather than below CET and that trend has continued through 2022 so far. That is a significant consideration when looking ahead to the Autumn. 

 

Autumn snow in the Chilterns

A sprinkling of autumn snow in Berkhamsted

Autumn seasonal model overview

The table below summarises output from seasonal forecast models for September, October and November 2022. It  represents the data available at time of publication and subsequent updates may favour a different outcome. 

Model Temperature Precipitation
UK Met Office GloSea (UK) Above average Above average in the north. Below average in the south
Meteo France (France) Above average Below average in eastern England and Northern Ireland
DWD (Germany) Above average Mostly below average
CMC (Canada) Above average Mostly no anomaly
ECMWF Above average

Below average in the south east

JMA (Japan) Above average Mostly no anomaly
C3S multi system (European combi) Above average Weakly below average in parts of the UK
CFS v2 (USA) Above average

Mixed across the UK

C3S multi system incorporates date from a range of sources including: ECMWF, UK Met Office, Meteo France, CMCC, DWD, JMA and NCEP.

There is a strong signal for temperatures to be above the average. The precipitation outlook is less clearly defined, but there are indications of it being drier than average in the south.

The relationship between autumn and winter has been discussed before. There are suggestions of a correlation between warm autumns and mild winters. 

Background signals and recent climatology

In addition to the seasonal models a number of other points are considered:

1) There is an 86% chance of La Nina continuing through this autumn. La Nina tends to support drier conditions during the meteorological autumn in Spain and parts of France. There is also a correlation with an increased incidence of cold weather in the UK during the late autumn and early winter. 

2) A more active than normal hurricane season was forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center and other forecasters. However, the season to date has been notably quiet and if that were to continue the chance of cooler and changeable periods of weather early in the autumn may be increased. 

3) High levels of global warmth.

4) Warmer than average seasons have been common in the UK during recent years. All months so far in 2022 have been warmer than the average. July and August brought exceptional spells of hot weather.

The above pointers are inconclusive. Recent climatology supports the idea of warmer than average conditions through the first half of the autumn, but the unexpectedly quiet hurricane season adds uncertainty. La Nina could increase the chance of cold spells in late November. 

Autumn mist
Autumn mist in the Chilterns

Conclusion

At this stage aggregate temperatures for the meteorological autumn (September, October and November) are considered more likely to be above average than below.

However, the confidence in this has lowered since the first update was published in July. In addition, the chance of colder than average periods may increase towards the end of the season.

On balance drier than average conditions are favoured, especially in the south. 

The autumn forecast will be released at the end of August.  

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Models include UK Met Office UKV and MOGREPS-G, ECMWF, NCEP GFS, Meteo France Arpege and Arome.