South-west England has provisionally recorded it’s warmest autumn on record in a series from 1884, and Wales has also recorded its equal-warmest autumn.

The UK recorded a seasonal mean temperature of 10.76°C, 1.04°C above the 1991-2020 long term average, with anomalies of +1.53°C for south-west England and +1.41°C for Wales.

Map of the UK showing warmer than average Autumn in southern parts of the UK in 2023.

This UK seasonal mean temperature makes it the 6th warmest autumn in the series from 1884. The last three autumns (2021 to 2023) have all been very mild, with anomalies of +1.1°C, +1.3°C and +1.0°C respectively. For the climate district of south-west England and south Wales this was the warmest autumn on record, marginally warmer than 2011 and 2006.

Graph showing UK Autumn mean temperature over time, showing annual variability with a an increasing trend in mean temperature.

Autumn rainfall

It has been a wet autumn across the UK, except for western Scotland, with parts of eastern Scotland, north-east and eastern England, southern England and the east of Northern Ireland receiving over 150% of the 1991-2020 long term average. Areas such as Angus, South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, the Isle of Wight and County Down have been particularly wet.

The UK recorded a seasonal rainfall total of 409.8mm, 122% of the 1991-2020 long term average. Northern Ireland (132%) had its 8th wettest autumn, Eastern Scotland (135%) its 7th wettest autumn, northern England (135%) its 9th wettest autumn and south-east England its 9th wettest autumn in series from 1836.

Map of the UK showing Autumn 2023 rainfall with areas in the East and South above average and Western Scotland around or below average.

The three months of the autumn have seen dramatic contrasts in the weather. Settled weather in early September brought many warm, dry, sunny days with a very notable heatwave. 30°C was reached on seven consecutive days (a September record), including, unusually, the UK’s highest temperature of the year: 33.5°C at Faversham, Kent on 10th. It was the UK’s equal-warmest September on record (with 2006).

Mix of Autumnal weather

Early October saw some fine weather in the south with temperatures reaching 25°C in the south-east – the most significant October warm spell since 2011. However, overall this was an unsettled and very wet month. The UK recorded its 6th wettest October in the series from 1836 and Eastern Scotland recorded its wettest October by a wide margin. Much of eastern Scotland, eastern England, south-east England and the east of Northern Ireland received well over twice the monthly average rainfall.

Four named storms affected the UK during the autumn from late September to mid-November: AgnesBabet, Ciarán and Debi. These contributed to exceptionally wet and, at times, stormy weather. From 6th to 7th, October, Scotland had its wettest 2-day period on record, while Babet from 18th to 20th brought the third wettest 3-day period on record for England and Wales. Storm Ciarán, at the start of November, was an exceptionally powerful storm – comparable in severity with the ‘Great Storm’ of 16 October 1987 – but with the strongest winds further south across the Channel Islands and Northern France.

Met Office senior scientist Mike Kendon said: “Once again, the autumn has demonstrated the huge variability in our climate. Temperatures over 30°C in early September seem a distant memory to the current cold snap, with a hard frost and snow currently lying on Dartmoor.

"The succession of named storms experienced through the autumn illustrates the potential of our weather, strong winds and particularly heavy rain, to cause significant widespread impacts. Overall this has been another mild and wet autumn, and this is consistent with the ongoing pattern which is emerging as our climate continues to change.”

Provisional Autumn 2023 statistics

Maximum temp Minimum temp Mean temp Rainfall Sunshine
Area Actual temp (°C) Anomaly (°c) Actual temp (°C) Anomaly (°C) Actual temp (°C) Anomaly (°C) Actual (mm) Anomaly (%) Actual (hours) Anomaly (%)
UK 14.22 1.11 7.30 0.96 10.76 1.04 409.8 122 291.8 105
England 15.69 1.53 8.31 1.35 12.01 1.45 339.7 135 326.9 106
Wales 14.64 1.28 8.36 1.56 11.47 1.41 538.7 125 261.4 95
Scotland 11.73 0.39 5.31 0.14 8.50 0.28 489.1 107 245.3 107

N. Ireland

13.93 0.98 7.35 1.02 10.60 0.97 428.9 132 267.5 106


November overview

The statistics for November are fairly unremarkable, with temperatures and sunshine amounts close to average. Despite a very wet first half of the month, including Storm Ciarán and Storm Debi, rainfall totals have also been near average in many areas, with drier weather later in the month providing respite from the prolonged wet weather through much of the autumn.

Map of the UK showing November mean temperature, much of the UK is around average with most of Scotland just below average.

While temperatures for November have been fairly near average overall, there have been incursions of colder air. They first dropped mid-month with -7.1°C recorded at Altnaharra, Sutherland on 16th, and frosts as far south as Kent with -0.8°C at East Malling, Kent on 12th, though nothing extreme for the time of year. The last week has also seen a return of colder wintry weather to the UK, with hard frosts and wintry precipitation in the north and east.

Map of the UK showing November rainfall compared to average. Map shows the south of England just above average, much of central UK around average and Scotland and Northern Ireland below average.

Provisional November 2023 statistics

Maximum temp Minimum temp Mean temp Rainfall Sunshine
Area Actual temp (°C) Anomaly (°c) Actual temp (°C) Anomaly (°C) Actual temp (°C) Anomaly (°C) Actual (mm) Anomaly (%) Actual (hours) Anomaly (%)
UK 9.3 -0.1 3.4 -0.2 6.3 -0.1 118.9 96 64.6 112
England 10.3 0.1 4.3 0.2 7.3 0.2 110.8 120 75.4 116
Wales 9.9 0.1 4.8 0.6 7.3 0.3 174.6 108 49.4 89
Scotland 7.5 -0.5 1.4 -1.1 4.4 -0.8 122.4 74 51.1 107

N. Ireland

9.9 0.2 3.7 0.0 6.8 0.1 92.0 75 61.5 113