Despite seeing the first two named storms of the 2018/19 season, named by the Met Office and Met Éireann, and the remnants of an ex-tropical storm, Storm Helene, September in general was a fairly average month.
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The weather was predominantly unsettled, although after Storm Ali and Storm Bronagh, high pressure quickly became established giving a sunny autumnal spell from the 24th, especially over southern areas.
There were some chilly nights, at times, and some early frosts in a few prone locations. The minimum temperature of -3.6C at Katesbridge on Saturday morning 29th is a new regional minimum temperature record for September in Northern Ireland – beating the previous lowest of -3.2 at Magherally, Banbridge (not far away) on the morning of September 30th 1991.
Temperatures have fluctuated, with no particularly warm spells, and are averaging out to near normal for the month as a whole.
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Rainfall has been above average for Wales, north west England and Scotland, but rather drier than average for most of Northern Ireland, Aberdeenshire and Fife, and the south-eastern half of England.
Eastern areas have had a reasonably bright month, however it has been slightly duller than average in some places further west with the UK as a whole seeing 108% of the whole month’s average.
The average September followed on from a record-breaking summer, June, July and August was one of the warmest on record for the UK. June was the third-warmest and July the second-warmest in our official national records dating back to 1910, summer 2018 has provisionally been named joint warmest on record with 2006, 2003 and 1976.
On September 11th the Met Office and Met Éireann revealed the list of storm names for the coming season. First introduced in 2015, this is the fourth year the Met Office and Met Éireann (the meteorological service in the Irish Republic) have jointly run the ‘Name our Storms’ scheme, aimed at raising awareness of severe weather before it hits.
We saw the first named storm of the season, Storm Ali, on September 19th. It brought widespread strong winds and heavy rains, with the strongest gusts being recorded in Ireland, Northern Ireland and western Scotland, with gusts up to 91 mph in Northern Ireland, Scotland, northern England and parts of north Wales.
Exposed areas saw even higher gusts with Cairngorm Summit recording 105 mph and the Tay Road Bridge recording a gust of 102 mph.
Storm Bronagh was the second storm, bringing gusts of up to 78 mph to parts of England and Wales. Storm Bronagh was named on 20 September with strong winds forecast particularly for the southern half of the UK. It brought widespread strong winds and heavy rain, with the strongest gusts being recorded across the hills and coasts of England and Wales.
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Please note that these provisional figures, especially for rainfall and sunshine, are subject to revision. Anomalies are expressed relative to the 1981-2010 averaging period.