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Guy Fawkes Night

Rain or fine on Bonfire Night?


27/10/2022

Overview

November 5th falls on a Saturday this year so the big day itself will coincide with many planned firework parties. Cold and frosty Guy Fawkes Nights have been rare in recent years with mild and damp conditions being more typical. 

This year the autumn has been mild to date and the second half of October has brought notably high temperatures. However, there are signs of it turning cooler in early November.

Fireworks

Firework photomontage by Billy Hicks - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Unsettled and cooler weather

Unsettled weather is expected to extend across all areas in the days leading up to Guy Fawkes Night. At this range it isn't possible to forecast exactly when bands of rain will be crossing the UK. However, the general expectation is that wet periods will be more frequent and intense in the north and west. The south and east have a better chance of staying dry. It's worth remembering that even during unsettled periods dry intervals do come along.

The GFS 00z chart below shows forecast rainfall at 18:00GMT on Saturday 5th November. It is showing a vigorous Atlantic flow covering the UK. At this range it is only useful to illustrate the general pattern across the UK and the North Atlantic region. Nonetheless, it points towards the possibility of showers or longer spells of rain being a risk. Also, the isobars are close together indicating the likelihood of quite strong winds.

Weather map for Bonfire Night 2022
Forecast chart for Bonfire Night

Forecast confidence levels

The chart for London below is generated by running a computer model many times with the starting conditions adjusted slightly. It is called an ensemble plot and is used to help determine the probabilities of different outcomes occurring. 

The important point to note is that the lower half shows the rain forecasts from all of the model runs. During the first week of November there are quite a lot of rain spikes and plots for locations further north and west have more. Therefore, confidence in unsettled weather prevailing through early November is high.

GEFS 16 day forecast chart
GEFS 16 day air temperature and rain forecasts for London

Summary

Unsettled weather is expected during the Bonfire Night period. It means rain is possible in all of the UK, but on balance the greatest risk is in the north and west. It could also be windy. Despite that, even during unsettled spells there are drier interludes and it is possible that one could coincide with Bonfire Night.

Latest 16 day probability forecasts

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