Hot end to September explained
Release Date 28 September 2011
Dr Pete Inness, from the University of Reading's internationally renowned Department of Meteorology, asks is this weather that unusual, a guide to our winter weather and an indication of climate change?
Is the predicted weather unusual?
"This forecast, although it is predicting temperatures well above average, is still not going for anything excessively unusual and a spell of warm weather now isn't something we never expect to see. The fact that we even have a name for it (an Indian Summer) suggests that it must happen on a fairly regular basis."
Is the unusual weather related to climate change?
No, the natural variability in the UK weather is large, and so one warm autumn or cold summer does not either prove or disprove climate change. Climate change is all about long term trends, which are hard to detect in a weather record which has very large natural variability."
Will the UK be hotter than Southern Europe?
"The ridge of high pressure that's bringing us the warmer temperatures is set to build across much of Europe, bringing warm air up from the south. Thus most places in Europe will be pretty warm this week."
Does this week's weather give us an indication of the winter to come?
"Due to the variability of our weather, warm temperatures in late September/early October tell us nothing one way or the other about the forthcoming winter. The systems that are bringing us warm weather this week will be long gone by winter and our weather doesn't have any real memory - i.e. conditions this week will not have an effect on weather patterns more than a couple of weeks into the future."
Facts and figures
The UK record for September is 35.6 degrees C in 1906 (the 2nd of September), although this figure is not without some reservations as its rather old so pre-dates modern observing practices.
The highest temperature anywhere in England in October was on the 1st of October 1985, with 29.4 degrees C in Cambridgeshire.
The September record for Reading is 29.6 degrees C in 2006 which was an exceptionally warm September.
If the temperature reaches 26 degrees C at the weekend we would just break the October temperature record for Reading which currently stands at 25.5 degrees C in 1985.