British weather in September

"Old-wives summer."

Meteorologically, 1 September is the beginning of autumn. The nights are drawing in throughout September. I still think of it as: summer is over and it's back to school. The autumn equinox around the 21st-23rd really marks the end of summer for me (although meteorologically speaking autumn comprises the three months of September, October, and November). At the equinox the sun is overhead at the equator at midday. In principle day and night are of equal length at the equinox, although because of refraction by the earth's atmosphere this does not happen in principle for a few more days. From then on night is longer than day, and as a consequence, other things being equal, there is net cooling in the northern hemisphere. If it's clear, days will tend to get progressively colder. Winter is on its way.

September can be quite an exciting month for the weather: we can hope for a very pleasant warm spell (sometimes hot, but rarely with the searing intensity of summer); there is always the excitement of the chance of the first frost (or at least the first ground frost); we can still hope for violent thunderstorms; and the chance of gales increases, particularly in the second half of the month. The east of the country tends to be slightly drier than in the summer months (having fewer thunderstorms), whereas the west tends to be slightly wetter (having a higher frequency of cyclonic weather systems). The average amount of sunshine in September varies from just under three hours a day in NW Scotland to almost six hours along the SE coast. Anticyclones are only more likely in May. Our thoughts start to turn from the heat of summer to the cold of winter - and some months give us both (see 1919).

The "old-wives summer" are three supposed dry periods (7-10th, 16-21st, and the 30th) which are turn followed by wet stormy days. Although widely thought to be unreliable, there is some indication that anticyclones tend to build around the 5th, marked by a drop in mean daily rainfall then. Atlantic lows are at their lowest frequency around the middle of September. On average 10 September is the day of the year when you are most likely to get fine weather and high pressure (perhaps related to this being the peak of the hurrican season in the Atlantic, maybe disrupting the jet stream). There is also some indication that the 12-15th does tend to be particularly windy, and gales at the end of the month are called "equinoctial gales" - although gales are no more likely at the equinoxes. (Although the winter months are by far the windiest months of the year.) The 21st is St Matthew's Day: "Matthew's Day, bright and clear, brings good wine in the next year", although the 20-22 is generally associated with bad weather. In fact overall September tends to be the second most anticyclonic month of the year (after May).

September used to the hottest day of the year just under 10% of the time, although this event seems to be coming less common, with 1962 (although 2016 saw 34.4ºC Gravesend on 13 September, the warmest day on mainland Britain that year; that figure though is disputed; however, it exceeded 35C at St Helier, Jersey, in July that year). We are left with the hottest day of the year in the UK falling in September in 2023, 1954, 1949, and 1919. On average, somewhere Britain reaches the magical 27C (80F) every couple of years. Is September cooling down? Whereas before 1974 somewhere in Britain exceeded 30C on average every 5 years (16 times between 1895 and 1973), it has only happened once since (just, in 1999), until 2016. It has been more than 50 years since 32C has been exceeded, yet this happened several times in the first half of the twentieth century. Until recently September certainly doesn't show much sign of getting any warmer, unlike most other months.

Extremes for September in the 20th century

Highest mean September CET temperature = 17.0 (2023; 16.8 in 2006)

Lowest mean September CET temperature = 10.7 (1952)

Highest maxima

35.6 (Bawltry, Doncaster, 2nd, 1906)

Lowest minimum = -6.7 (Dalwhinnie, 26th, 1942)

Some extreme weather events in September in the twentieth century

1900 Mostly dry and warm in the south, but more changeable in the north. On the 16th, it was 28C in London.

1903 Signs of summer at last in one of the worst on record: 29C in London on the 2nd, but followed midmonth by a cold and windy snap. Severe gales across England on the 10th.

1906 Fine, warm, and sunny, with a westerly interlude midmonth. There was an extraordinary heatwave from 31 August to 3 September with 32C+ recorded over most of England for these four days. On the 1st, 35.0C was recorded at New Malden, Colly Weston (on the Northants. and Leics. border), and Maidenhead. The hottest day was the 2nd, with 35.6 C (read as 96F) at Hesley Hall, Bawtry, near Doncaster: this is the September record maximum, and also the latest date on which 35C (95F) has been exceeded. Oddly enough, Bawtry had been the site of the previous year's highest maximum for the country, too. 35C was widely reached. Hawarden (Wales) saw 32.3 C. Incredibly Gordon Castle, near Elgin, north Scotland, also reached 32.2C (90F) that day. It was 29.6C in Edinburgh. These are the two hottest September days of the century. Things cooled down on the 3rd, with the high temperature confined to the southeast: 34.2 was recorded near Bury St Edmunds. The hot weather led to a marked increase in infant mortality due to gastic infections and a high mortality rate among young children. The rest of the month was dry, anticyclonic, and misty.

1907 A fine month. It was 27C in London and Norfolk on the 25th - in some places it was the warmest day of the year.

1908 Dry in England but wet in Scotland. 37 mm of rain though fell in 20 minutes in a thunderstorm at Canterbury on the 11th.

1909 Overall, a cool and unsettled month with some heavy thundery rain. Wet in the SE, drier though in the SW and N. 42 mm of rain fell in 55 minutes at Cromer on the 6th. 20 mm of rain fell at Oxford on the 17th. There was severe flooding in Glamorgan followed heavy rain on the 28th. A large area received 50-75 mm of rain. Port Talbot and Neath were particularly badly affected. Many bridges were swept away.

1910 The "snow" reported at Epsom on the 19th was almost certainly just soft hail (the temperature was recorded as 11C). In general, it was a very dry month; indeed, the second driest of the century over much of the country, with a E&W average of 16.4 mm. It was however quite cool, but with a warm spell between the 26th and 29th, with 79F recorded at Maidenhead on the 28th. Sunny in the SW but dull in the NE, with just 67 hours of sunshine recorded at Newcastle. It was though a dry month everywhere, particularly in Durham and Yorkshire.

1911 The wonderful extended summer continues for the first two weeks or so. A heatwave produced 34.6 ºC at Raunds (Northants) on the 8th - the third hottest September day of the century (see 1906 for the other two). The second half of the month was cooler and unsettled. The temperature reached 30 ºC at Kew on the 13th; the next day it was 17ºC. The drought continued for the first hald of the month, leading to restrictions on water supplies in the northwest, and many forest and heat fires. A very warm and sunny month overall, so what a surprise the following year's September must have been.

1912 A very cool month: the second coldest September of the century (11.1C CET). The warmest day was a mere 17.8 at Hampstead on the 8th, and only 8.3 on the 12th at Buxton. It is unlikely that the reported snow on the 10th was genuine; it was much more likely, according to Edden (1995), to be hail. Overall it was a dry month, although the final two days were wet. It was dull everywhere except for northern Scotland.

1913 Thundery midmonth. On the 16th, there were heavy thunderstorms around Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Then on the 17th about 150 mm of rain fell at Doncaster in a storm. It was fine and very warm at the end: 28C at Whitby on the 27th.

1914 A fine, warm month, dry and sunny across the UK. Less than half an inch of rain fell in the Thames estuary area and in Newcastle all month. Over a very large area there was no rain before the 9th and none after the 18th. 29C (84F) was recorded at Woking on the 3rd.

1915 Warm and fine for the first three weeks, but with a wet and stormy end. 96 mm of rain fell at Nairn on the 26th.

1916 After unsettled start, it became dry but cloudy. A depression moving SE down the east coast then brought rain and gales to many parts from the 17th to 19th.

1917 Quite dry and warm, especially in the east; dull and wetter in the north and west. Often windy.

1918 The wettest September on record, with a total of 189.5 mm (232%) in England and Wales, with many places of course much wetter. For example, Snowdon and Borrowdale (Lake District) had about 760 mm. Many places had rain every day of the month. Nearly 5 inches of rain fell at Douglas (Isle of Man) on the 15th. It was very cold as well, and notably windy. The highest temperature all month at Aberdeen was 14.4C, and even many places in southern England could not reach 20C. It was the coldest September of the century in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

1919 A month with great variation in weather, from a memorable hot spell to a memorable cold one, all within just over a week. It was another month with a maximum of 32.2C CET (at lucky Raunds in Northants. again, on the 11th - what is it with Raunds in September?). The 11th is one of the latest dates in the twentieth century when 90F+ (32.2C) was attained (see 1926 below for the latest). This was also the hottest day of the year. Nottingham reached 29.4C on the 11th but only 13.9 on the 12th following a shift in wind direction. There was even snow cover on low ground from northern England north and on higher ground in Wales and the southwest as well as high ground in the Midlands on the night of the 19-20th. The snow was 2" deep at Princetown in Dartmoor. Snow cover lasted on Snowdon for a week. This is probably the earliest snowfall date. The last week was cold and frosty. That is why 1919 gets my vote as the most interesting September for weather of the century.

1920 Damp and changeable.

1921 A warm, dry, sunny month. A very warm start, culminating in 30C at Southend on the 9th. Aldershot recorded 26 on the 3rd, falling to 1.1C that night, rising to 24C again the next time. The only real relief from the great drought of 1921 came on the 11th, when 25mm of rain fell across large areas of the south.

1922 Dull and cool but dry in Scotland and the SE. There were some severe thunderstorms at the start of the month: 75 mm fell at Blackpool early on the morning of the 1st. From the 3rd to the 11th it was quiet, dry, warm but most cloudy with fog at night. It then turned cold and showery with NW winds until the 16th. There were then three fine days before it turned cold and showery again. A large and deep low hit the NW and N on the 19th. London had half an inch of rain and Aberystwyth had an inch and a half of rain. There was flooding in Wales. A humid SW wind on the 21st with sunshine gave temperatures of 21.7C (71F) in London, Yarmouth, and Cromer. It was cooler further north, and the rest of the month was cool and unsettled. Newcastle, Hexham, and the Yorkshire Dales recorded twice the average rainfall, although the SE was drier than usual.

1923 Cool; sunny in the south-east, and wet in north.

1924 A very wet, very windy, but quite warm month. At Southport in the early hours of the 21st a storm with an average windspeed of 65 mph was recorded for two hours, and a gust of 87 mph was recorded at Fleetwood.

1925 Cool.

1926 A warm month. 27C as reported on the 10th. Then there was a remarkable late heatwave. North London (Camden) reached 32.2C on the 19th - the latest date on which the magical 90F has been recorded, the latest date in the twentieth century when 30C has been reached, and also the latest date in the twentieth century in the year when that year's highest temperature was attained (but see September 1895).

1927 Cold, windy, dull, and very wet. 63 mm of rain fell at Brighton on the 14th.

1928 Very sunny and dry month over England and Wales. 85F (29.4C) was recorded at Camden Square on the 8th. It was the sunniest September since 1910 across England and Wales and since 1906 in Edinburgh.

1929 The second warmest of the century (15.3C CET) before 1999. In some places it was the warmest month of the year. The magic 32C (90F) was reached at Farnborough on the 4th and 5th, and even 31C was recorded there on the 8th and 9th.  The month saw the joint highest September mean maximum of the century (with 1959).

1930 Warm, dull, and wet.

1931 Cold and dull. Storms over the first four days led to severe flooding over the midlands and north of England. At Lutterworth 30mm of rain reported in 5 minutes on the 3rd; and another 20mm in 14 minutes the next day. 127mm fell at Castleton (North Yorks.) on the 4th. Flooding of the River Derwent. The month was dry but dull after the 5th.

1932 This was a mixed month, but was generally dull. An unsettled start, particularly in the W and N, but very warm in the SE on the 2nd. Warm and sunny midmonth in the south and east. Cooler and unsettled across the country from the19th on.

1933 Very sunny first ten days. 130mm of rain in 4 hours in a thunderstorm at Fleet (Hants.); under 4 miles away only 7mm fell.

1934 Generally warm and sunny, particularly in the SE. It was a wet month in most of Scotland. There was a thunderstorm on the 15th, with 32 mm of rain in 10 minutes at Trowbridge.

1935 Wet at first but settled second week. There were a couple of notable events this month. Severe gales and heavy rain on the 16-17th. Disturbed weather for a while, and then a weak low brought warm, moist air up from France, giving rise to some violent thunderstorms, minor flooding, and particularly large hail ("as big as a fist"; 10cm, at Great Billing) across the Midlands (particularly Northamptonshire, hence the "Great Northamptonshire Hailstorm") on the 22nd. The 210 mile "hailswathe" is the longest recorded in Britain, with most damage between Banbury 40 miles NE to Irthlingborough. Much glass was destroyed. Some hailstones had still not melted at 7 am the next morning.

1936 Mainly dull and wet.

1937 Dry but on the cool side. However, the temperature reached 26C in north Wales and Lancashire on the 27th. It was very sunny 1st-7th and 26th-30th.

1938 Quite warm but cloudy. Wetter in the east than the west. 28C reached at Southend on the 12th.

1939 Overall a dry month. However, there were some severe thunderstorms on the 2-3rd. 80mm of rain at Rotherham on the 2nd, 75mm at Swanage. There were landslides at Dunoon (SW Scotland) on the 3rd. The first nine days were very warm, with night fog. Southend recorded 28.3C on the 8th. There was an absolute drought in many palces from the 14th to 30th. At Ross-on-Wye it was the second driest September since 1910.

1940 August's anticyclone and dry weather persisted for the first week, but it got warmer: 30.6C in London on the 4th. Then it was more unsettled, although some parts of the SE still didn't have any rain until the 19th.

1941 Very dry and warm - the third driest of the century. Some foggy mornings. In Scotland September was warmer than August 1941.

1942 Unsettled and very wet in Scotland. Quite warm in England, and drier than average in the Midlands and south. The record September low of -6.7C (read as 20F) was set at Dalwhinnie on the morning of the 26th.

1943 Some severe thunderstorms from the 9-14th.

1944 Mostly cool and unsettled but with anticyclonic spells between the 9th adn 12th and 17th and 18th. Very wet in the NE; Newcastle had three times the average rainfall.

1945 Mild and very dull across the country. Only 56 hours of sunshine was recorded at Kew. It was very dry in central and eastern England; less than half the usual rainfall was recoded at Mansfield and Sheffield. It was though wet in Scotland.

1946 Dull, cool, and very wet, with mainly westerly winds. There was severe flooding on the 20th, as severe gales swept across England and Wales. 75 mm of rain fell at Bradford. 26C recorded in London on the 28th, when southerlies introduced very warm air from the 27th.

1947 A warm month (14.9). There was a prolonged dry spell in Kent (for 50 days ending September 17th).

1948 Unsettled all month over much of the country, although the south fared rather better in the second half. Along with 1872, this year had the earliest recorded air frost in the London district: the 22 September. There was then a warm spell on the 26th, with 24C recorded in the SE. Contrast this with -6.1C recorded at Glenlivet on the 23rd - the third recorded lowest September minimum.

1949 The warmest of the century by a long way (16.3C CET) - also the warmest September until 2006. Importantly, it was also the last time the highly magical 32.3C (90F) was reached this month (the Met Office giving "91F", which translates to 32.8, Maldon, Essex, on the 5th) - until 2016. The night before the minimum was 21C at Kew (reported in some places as 21.7, the warmest September night on record). 27C was recorded in southern England on the 11th. It was a very dry month - the driest at Kew for twenty years, with just 9 mm of rain all month. There were though widespread thunderstorms on the 22nd, giving most of the rainfall total of the month. The final week was fine, with 77F recorded at Brighton on the 26th and 78F at Rotherham. This month was the last of six Septembers when 32.3C was reached, all of them occurring in the first half of the twentieth century.

1950 Cool, dull, and very wet: the wettest of the century across Scotland (261mm) and Northern Ireland. There were gales on the 6th. The last blue was moon noted in Britain, on the 26th, caused by smoke from forest fires in Alberta (Canada) carried by strong high-level winds; the sky turned white and the sun blue.

1951 A dull month everywhere. 85 mm of rain fell in 24 hours at Oxford on the 6th.

1952 The coldest September of the century (10.7C CET), with some notable cold days. At Oxford and presumably many other locations it was the coldest September since records began in 1815. It was cold over much of Europe. There was snow in northern and central Scotland, with it lying on high ground. It was particularly frosty in the middle of the month. -3C was recorded in East Anglia and the Midlands on the 19th and 20th. There were 14 days of ground frost at Thetford. The 7th was the coldest day, with temperatures of less than 10C widespread across the south: at Whipsnade the temperature was only 8.3C. It was quite a cyclonic month. It was twice as wet as average in NE England, but Perthshire and Angus had less than an inch of rain. Only 1674 and 1675 were cooler in the CET series, but the earliest figures are rounded to the nearest 0.5C, and prone to error; September 1807 was also 10.5, so September 1952 was among the coolest of all Septembers. The country frequently lay in Arctic air, a pattern that recurred throughout the autumn of 1952.

1953 Dry, sunny, and warm first half. 26.7C (80F) was recorded at Poole on the 7th. In total 184 hours of sunshine was recorded at Kew and 188 hours at Gorleston. The month was more unsettled in the second hald, with a severe gale on the 21st.

1954 Although there were a hot frist few days, when 27C was reached in parts of England on the 1st (and 30.6 C at Camden and 30C at Regent's Park), after four days the weather deteriorated to become generally a wet and unsettled month. It was particularly wet in the NW, but drier in the east and SE. It was a sunny month in parts of the Midlands.

1955 Warmer than average, dry, and sunny. There was a good first week. 80F was recorded at London Airport on the 2nd, and 78F at Dyce and 79F at Coatbridge (near Glasgow), all on the 6th.

1956 The only time this century that September has been warmer than the preceding August. Some high minima, with a small number of sites on the south-east coast never falling beneath 10C. This situation was easily surpassed in 1999. The month although warm was often dull, and it was particularly wet and unsettled in the first and last weeks. With southerly winds, the temperature reached 26C in places on the 23rd.

1957 Very wet and unsettled. It was particularly wet in the Midlands. A dull month in places, but sunny in parts of Devon, Yorkshire, and southern Scotland.

1958 There were some exceptionally severe thunderstorms following a hot spell at the start of the month. There were particularly notable storms on the 5th and 6th, including hailstones up to 10 cm, flooding, and tornadoes. There was a bright early morning on the 5th, with very high humidity. The temperature widely reached 26C in the south on the 5th, with 27.2C at Whitstable and Mildenhall; the humid air was however very unstable, with temperatures decreasing rapidly with height, enabling some prodigious thunderclouds to develop. There were two main thunderstorm tracts: from Isle of Wight at 3pm to Colchester at 9.30pm; and Brighton from 7 pm moving north. The two tracts merged around 8 pm, giving the most severe weather, where a light easterly breeze met a light northerly. There were some exceptional downpours: 63.5 mm of rain fell in 20 minutes at Sidcup on the 5th (equal to 191 mm per hour, the third highest rainfall rate of the twentieth century), and 131 mm in 2 hours at Knockholt (Kent), along with destructive, large hailstones and tornadoes. At Swanley (also Kent) 57 mm of rain fell in 20 minutes. 1690 flashes of lightning in one hour were recorded in one of these storms. A gust of wind of 85 mph was recorded at Gatwick with one of the accompanying tornadoes. The heaviest recorded hailstone in the UK was caught at Horsham (Sussex) during this storm: it weighed 191g (6.75 oz), with a diameter of approximately 70 mm. The ground was pitted to a depth of 50 mm. Needless to say there was substantial destruction of trees and property across a substantial area. This famous storm is known as the "Horsham hailstorm". There were more severe thunderstorms in the SE on the 6th, with tornadoes, giant hail, and flash-flooding. 130 mm of rain fell in one storm at Sevenoaks. The month as a whole was very wet, with twice the average rainfall falling in Wales, the Midlands, the West, and the London region, although it was dry in Scotland and NE England. It was though overall a warm month; the warmest CET since 1949, and it was the warmest September of the century in Scotland (and since from 1895, and not bettered until 2006).

1959 Part of a good extended summer. The driest September on record. Many areas in the east (and Plymouth, for some reason, was also extremely dry, with 0.1mm) had no rain at all, and the average across England and Wales was just 8.4 mm (about 10%). Near Colchester and Lowestoft there was no meaurable rain at all in the period 14 August - 9 October inclusive (57 days, the longest period since spring 1893). At Finningley (Doncaster) the drought lasted 59 days. The month overall was very fine, with a notable heatwave: it reached 30C at Gatwick on the 11th. It was also very sunny (255 hours in Plymouth).  The month saw the joint highest September mean maximum of the century (with 1929), although with the clear skies the mean minimum emperatures were slightly below average. Houghall (Co. Durham) had ground frost on 18 nights of the month.

1960 Heavy rain in the SW on the 28th, with flooding. On the 30th, Exeter was almost cut off.

1961 Very warm: until 1999, the third warmest of the century (15.2C CET). There was a heatwave a the start of the month, but with some severe thunderstorms. It was 31C on the 1st in the south, and 26C (78F) even at Selkirk, as well as 25C at Armagh. Some thunder that night. The next day, the 2nd, nearly made 90F: almost 32.0it was C at Gatwick on the 2nd (31.6C). The heatwave was followed by some notable thunderstorms during the night of the 2nd, particularly in the north. There were 66 mm of rain at Manchester, with heavy hail, and several hours of thunder, with lightning six times a minute at the peak just before dawn on the 3rd. 45 mm of rain fell in 60 minutes. 11 mm of rain in 10 minutes at Litton (North Yorks.). Obviously, there was some serious flooding. The thunderstorms continued on the 3rd and 4th, with more of the action further south. Violent storms in east Kent early on the 4th, with a power failure in Margate. Flooding to three feet depth in the streets of Poole. The Isle of Wight had 94 mm of rain during the night at Sandown. The thunderstorms moved off to the continent on the 6th. Later in the month, the remnants of Hurricane Betsy and Debbie arrived; the latter brought severe gales, with winds in excess of 100 mph, to Ireland and to western and northern parts of Scotland as it moved north on the 16-17th. It caused widespread damage and unfortunately 18 deaths. The warm tropical air though led to a temperature of 27 ºC at Cromer (Norfolk). The month was then settled from the 20th to 27th, but there was som more rain at the end.

1962 The hottest temperature reading of the year unusually came in September, with 27.8 at Writtle (Essex) on the 3rd. This is the lowest yearly maximum of the twentieth century. Overall it was sunny in the south and southeast, but cool and cloudy in the north.

1963 Cyclonic and cool for the first 11 days, but then there was an anti-cyclonic spell mid-month, with warm sunny weather. Many districts had more than 10 hours of sunshine daily in this spell. It was cooler after the 17th but remained dry until the 23rd, but then was changeable. It was a very sunny month in North Wales and NE England. Rainfall was around average overall but it was wet in the South West and in North West of Scotland. Temperatures overall were around average. 

1964 Very warm and sunny. This was the last time we had an exceptionally sunny September (more than 150% of the England and Wales average).

1965 Very wet, cold, and dull. The weather conditions at the start of the month (high pressure over Scandinavia, low over France) led to an extraordinary fall of migrant birds on the East Anglian coast on the afternoon of 3 September.

1966 A very average month.

1967 Another very average month for temperatures overall.

1968 There was widespread and severe flooding in the southeast following heavy and prolonged rain (e.g. 75 mm) on Saturday the 14th and 15th. Much of Surrey, Kent, and London recorded 150 mm, with the record from Tilbury at 201.4 mm. 57 mm in 42 minutes at Purleigh. As a result much of Surrey ended up under water. East Molesey in Surrey was particularly badly affected by flooding by the River Mole. The effects of the Surrey Flood were devastating. A thunderstorm moved across London into Essex during the afternoon of the 14th. As that one faded, a new one developed over Kent, Essex, and southeast London. This one lasted 15 hours! At the time I would have been in Southampton that afternoon watching the first episode of "The Mind Robber" in "Dr Who". This was the last time before the Boscastle storm of 2003 that more than 8 inches of rain fell in a day.

1969 Very dry. Nevertheless, a severe gale across Scotland on the 28-29th gave a storm surge along the North Sea coast leading to flooding. Much of Hull was under a metre of water. As the waters receded, the Humber ferries had to be cancelled because of a lack of water in the channels! This was followed by a low of -5.6C recorded at Santon Downham Suffolk) and Grendon Underwood (Bucks.) on the 30th - this temperature is the lowest September minimum on record in England.

1970 A dry month overall. An unsettled westerly first half. On the 9th in Anglesey the average wind speed for an hour was 60 mph. There was a cool period between the 10th and 15th, but then it was very warm at the end of the month, with 28C recorded in central London on the 20th, and 26C recorded in places on the 25th and 26th. 27C was recorded at Nottingham and Gloucester on the 28th. Many places had no rain from the 16th to 29th. Filey and Skegness recorded 14mm of rain during the month.

1971 A very dry month; also mostly warm and sunny. 27C was reached in parts of NE Scotland on the 8th. Also notable for the great south Yorkshire tornado on the 26th, which caused damage to houses in Rotherham.

1972 Very cool (11.7C CET) and dry: the driest of the 20th century in Scotland. There was however some heavy thundery rain in the southeast on the 19th. Sunshine was above average in the North West and below average in eastern England. It was the dullest September recorded in Hull since 1941.

1973 Two great things about this month. First, it was a month with a notable heatwave: Gillingham (Kent) reached 31.0C on the 5th. This was the last time 30C was reached in September before 1999 (although 1991 came close) - before this it happened approximately every 16 years. Severe thunderstorms hit Kent on the 15th: e.g. 55 mm of rain in 30 minutes at Herne Bay. Then there was an amazing downpour: 190.7 mm at West Stormouth in Kent in 13 hours on the 20th; this sets the daily rainfall record for the month. At the same time, 172 mm fell in under 19 hours at Margate, starting soon after 5 pm, and 167 mm fell in 13 hours at Ashford. Because of the local nature of thunderstorms, other parts of the country were relatively dry (e.g. there were only 33 mm for the whole month around Oxford). That is just one of the reasons why we love thunderstorms so.

1974 Cool, wet, and stormy: the wettest of recent times (153 mm), with some local flooding. Thundery in the south. The Morning Cloud Storm of the 2nd was particularly memorable: the yacht was hit by a 8 metre wave off Brighton. Even though I lived on the south coast, I don't remember this at all. On the 7th gales led to loss of life, and the stadium rood was blown off in the Derby-Newcastle match. There were 20 m of rain in 15 minutes in a thunderstorm at Oxford on the 12th. There were many small tornadoes accompanied a cold front on the 21st (particularly Thaxted and Bicester) and again on the 26th. The maximum in the Midlands on the 27th was only 8C. Then there was a minimum of -6.0 at Braemar on the 28th; this is one of the lowest September minima on record (but see 1942 for the lowest).

1975 The hot summer ended abruptly on the 12th with an intrusion of arctic air. It was very wet: September was one of only two wet months this year. The 13th was very wet in the south, with 50 mm of rain widespread, 75 mm on the north Kent coast, and 91 mm at Margate - accompanied by a severe NE gale. The temperature that day only reached 10C in London, and as low as under 9C in parts of the south east - this is the coldest day recorded so early in the second half of the year. The 14th was also a cold day. A tornado destroyed glass in Barnham (Sussex) also on that day. As the winds eased on the 15th, with arctic air and clear skies the temperature widely dipped across the SE to -3 C, and as low as -6.1C at Dalwhinnie. A cold night at Lagganlia in the Highlands: -6.2C on the 27th. However, with the warm first third, the temperature of the month overall was very close to the long-term average.

1976 After the exceptionally dry summer, we had a very wet month. Some places in West Wales stayed dry until the 4th, having had no rain since July 16. The month had many wet spells, for which we were all truly grateful after the great drought. There was snow on the Grampians (down to about 500m) on the 9-10th. Then, on the 11th, a particularly wet day, 125 mm fell across northern England and north Wales, with a NE gale. Severe flooding in Stokesley (near Middlesborough). There was flooding in Glasgow as a result of thunderstorms on the 28th (84mm in 3.5 hours), and severe flooding in Cornwall on the night of the 24-25th: a man was swept away in Polperro. Most of the country had twice the average rainfall, with some parts of Wales, Yorkshire, and the Midlands having four times as much. Only September 1918 was wetter. It was a cloudy month.

1977 About average temperatures. It was very dry over much of southern and central England.

1978 A dry month in England and Wales. Ex-hurricane Flossie brings strong winds - 104mph to Fair Isle.

1979 About average temperature overall. A minimum of -6.1C recorded at Dalwhinnie on the 15th. It was a sunny and dry month in Central and Northern England and central Scotland. 167 hours of sunshine and 19 mm all month was recorded at Weston Park, Sheffield, and 176 hours of sunshine at St Andrews.

1980 Warm overall; at 14.7C CET, the warmest since 1961, and we would have to wait until 1998 for one warmer. There was a great deal of sunny, dry weather in the SE, although it was wet in the NW. There was a severe gale in the north on the 12th.

1981 Fine, warm and sunny during the first ten days, but then things went downhill. Extremely wet overall, with 140 mm of rain.

1982 Warmer than average. The first three weeks were fine and warm in the SE, although it was unsettled in the N and W. There was a notable heatwave midmonth, with 28.6C recorded on Jersey on the 17th and 28.4C at Wellesbourne (Warks.) on the 18th. The last ten days were wet and stormy, with tornadoes on the 21st.

1983 Average temperatures overall. It was very warm on the 24th: 26C in Exeter and Jersey.

1984 Cloudy, very wet, unsettled, and cool, particularly in the second half. It was also quite thundery. On the 22nd there was a minimum of -3C at Aviemore. The lowest temperature of the month was -4.6C at Grantown-on-Spey, also on the 22nd.

1985 Mostly warm and quite sunny. Although it was dry in the south and east, it was a cool, very wet month in the north and west, with moist and often strong SW and W winds: Glasgow had its wettest September on record; however Manston (Kent) only had 10% of its normal rainfall. Local highs of 27C on the 12th and 13th in a late hot spell. On the 18th, 95 mm of ran fell at Dundrennan in SW Scotland. There was a good warm fine spell at the end of the month.

1986 Very cold, and as it was also anticyclonic, it was also a dry and sunny month. In fact it was the coolest September of recent times (11.3C CET) and the third coolest of the century (1952 being the coldest). October this year was nearly as warm. There were frequent ground frosts and some air frosts. It was very dry (the driest in England and Wales since 1971, particularly in the W, Wales, and NW). For many places, a 42-day drought started on the 3rd. (Technically a "drought" is defined as more than 14 days without measurable rain.) It was however cold and wet in the far south from the 13-16th, with 85 mm of rain falling in Guernsey. It was only 9C across the south on the 15th, the coldest September day since 1952, and a minimum of -5C in the N from the 17th to 19th, with -5.5 at St Harmon (Powys) on the 19th. The month turned much warmer from 20th, with 25C at Newcastle on 30th, and 24C at Inverurie (Aberdeenshire) on the same day.

1987 Pretty average but quite sunny. There were 187 hours of sunshine at Dunbar.

1988 An average month, often unsettled.

1989 Very dry, particularly in the north, and warm in places (e.g. East Anglia and the SE, where it was the warmest since 1961). Largely anticyclonic, but unsettled midmonth, with thunderstorms. A severe thunderstorm on the 10th gave 31 mm of rain in 30 minutes in the Dover area. 27C widespread on the 7th, and 27.2C at Jersey on the 21st.

1990 Some windy spells. Slightly cool, but with some warmer spells. It was -1.4C at Hurn (Dorset) on the 28th. It was wetter than average in the north and west but dry everywhere else.

1991 Very warm and sunny. There was a notable heatwave at the start of the month. 29.8C was reached near Peterborough (Marholm) on the 1st, along with 29.7C at Heathrow and 29.5C at Cambridge. These were the highest September maxima since 1973. In London it was the hottest day of the year. 29C was also recorded in places on the 2nd and 3rd. A number of places had their hottest day of the year in these first four days. 27C was reached in parts of Scotland on the 2nd and 3rd. The final week was very unsettled. On the 28th a gale affected the north while it was very wet in the south: 109 mm of rain at Poole. Overall, in many places it was the warmest September since 1959, particularly in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Many places had quite a dry month, although some locations in the south were wet as a consequence of the rain in the last few days.

1992 Cloudy, cool, and unsettled, with some heavy spells of rain, and in particular, some severe thunderstorms. There was giant hail at Foulness island (near Southend) early on the 9th that killed over 2000 wild birds; Norwich Cathedral was struck by lightning. On the 18th, Upton Scudamore (Wilts.) received 98 mm of rain in a prolonged storm. There was widespread flooding across N and W London and around the Rivers Nene and Ouse following overnight thunderstorms on the 22-23 (50 mm across a wide area; some places had 100 mm). Towards the end of the month, there was a warm spell, with temperatures reaching 25C at Marham (Norf.) and 25.6C at Elmstone (Kent) on the 28th.

1993  Cool, dull, and very wet (except in Scotland). The month started with a warm day, Malvern recording 27.2C. The 27th was unusually cold, with widespread a maximum of about 9 across the Midlands and east, and only 7.9C at Whipsnade (Beds.), making it the coldest September day in the south since 1918.

1994 Cool, dull, and wet. Particularly heavy rain in the Midlands on the 14-15th: 77 mm in 36 hours at Wittering near Peterborough, with 50 mm over a wide area, and flooding in the Midlands and east.

1995 About average temperatures; very wet and dull in the east, sunny and dry in the west. There was thundery rain in the south on the 2nd; 17 people hurt when lightning struck a tree at a football match at Aylesford (Kent). Cool first few days. Flooding around Liverpool following thunderstorms in the night of the 5th. 83.8 mm at Chiveley (Berkshire) in 24 hours from 9am on the 10th, 38.6mm of it one hour after 9pm; 78 mm at Tivington (Somerset), and some heavy rain in the north. Continuous rain from 8-12th over northeast Scotland, although heavy downpours over northeast Scotland started on the 1st. Kinloss and the Moray Firth recorded 274 mm of rain between September 1 and 11th (and 295 mm all month) - thirteen times normal! Flooding, rivers rose 11 feet, much crop damage, and Aberdeen was cut off. Aberdeen had 344% of the normal rainfall. The England and Wales rainfall average was 123 mm.

1996 Dry; sunny and warm in the west, cooler in the east. Sunniest September in Glasgow since 1906. The first above average temperature for five years. The driest across parts of central and eastern England since 1971. Before some downpours at the end of the month, some parts of the west and mid-Wales had a 29-day drought. Average sunshine of 142 hours, but 214 hours at Hartland in north Devon.

1997 Dry, warm, and sunny. 26.0 in London on the 18th, and 29.0 in St. Helier in Jersey (if that counts). Note the lateness of this date. Several places in the southeast reached 24C on the 29th.

1998 Warm, unsettled, very wet in the south and east, and very, very dull in the east (at least it was warm there). Tornadoes reported around Ashbourne and Matlock (Derbys.) on the 9th. On the 21st Scotland had a particularly warm day (26.8 at Aboyne, Gramp.) which for many places (such as my own station) was the warmest day of the year. Luton received nearly 80mm of rain on the 27th.

1999 At 15.6C, the second warmest of the century (after 1949); also sunny and wet - and particularly wet in the second half. There was a notable heatwave at the start of the month. 30C was recorded for the first time in September since 1973 (on the 5th, at Mildenhall in Suffolk, at 30.4), and then 30.4C at Gravesend on the 11th (the highest temperature so late in the season since 1947). There were some very mild nights in the second half of the month. Over much of southern England the temperature never fell beneath 10C, and in many places (London, Portsmouth, Weymouth, Folkestone) it never fell beneath 12C. These are the highest minima on record. The first 11 days were therefore an exceptional heatwave. Warm second half, with temperatures around 21C in the south most afternoons. Rainfall 34% above England and Wales average, but with a dry start. The sunniest September since 1991. After a hot day in the SE, there were some severe thunderstorms on the 5th, particularly in Surrey and south London, with violent hail (e.g. 18 mm hailstones at Hingston-on-Thames, and 22mm at Surbiton, and up to 50 mm reported at Tolworth). 92mm of rain in 24 hours at Newport (Gwent) on the 18-19th. Thunderstorms on the 22nd, particularly affecting the NE, and thunderstorms and a tornado at Pagham on the 23rd. The tornado started off as a waterspout, touching land just after 5am, causing damage 3km inland across a path a few meteres wide. The wet and stormy weather was associated with the remnants of Hurricane Floyd.

2000 The wettest September for 19 years. It was particularly wet in the second half. Flooding in Portsmouth on the 16-17th. Rainfall was about 125 mm (54% above England and Wales average). Some areas (e.g. Yorkshire, the Midlands, Sussex, Fife) had 250% of rain. On the other hand, northern Scotland was relatively dry. It was quite a dull month, as well, except in the Western Isles. It was also quite a warm month, with 29C recorded at Hawarden (near Chester) on the 11th. Walderton (W Sussex) received 84 mm of rain on the 15th. There was a severe gale across Scotland and northern England on the 7-8th.

2001 About average rainfall and temperatures overall, with frequent northwesterly winds. It was dry and sunny in the west, cooler and cloudier in the east, and wet in some easterly districts. Temperatures were in fact slighly below normal; the CET was the lowest since 1994. There were no "warm days" above 24C: the first time this has happened since 1995. Unusually, it was relatively dry in the west and wet in the east. Some places in northern Scotland had their dullest September on record. An anticyclone centred to the west of the British Isles gave NW winds, leading to the coldest first half of September since 1994. First signs of autumn on the 4th with low temperatures (2C at Saughall, near Glasgow), and 3C in East Anglia n the morning of the 5th; widespread ground frosts. The 6th was the first day since June 18th when 21C was not breeched anywhere in Britain. The 7th saw the first gale of the autumn across southern Scotland and northern Britain. On the 9th and 10th the maximum at Cromer was only 13C, and no more than 11C at Buxton on the 13th. After the 18th, the winds switched from the NW to the NE until the 26th. Hence in the third week, it was cool, dull, and wet in the SE, and sunny and warm in the NW: 22C at Loch Sloy (Argyll) on the 19th, but 11.7C at Whipsnade on the 17th. The 28th was a very warm day in the south: 24C at Northolt in London, and 22C as far north as York, with unbroken susnhine (although it was grim up north). Gales on the 30th.

2002 Mostly a very anticyclonic month: overall warm and very dry. However, there was severe flooding in the Inverness region at the start of the month. The 9th was a very wet day across the south and the east, with Swanage recording 121.5 mm of rain. The depression responsible for this gave rise to gales in the English channel and the SE. An anticyclone then settled across the country and most of the country was mostly dry. The warmest day was the 13th, with 26C at Bournemouth. The temperature fell to -3C at Tulloch Bridge on the morning of the 24th. The last three days were very warm, with 23C at Prestatyn on the 30th. Most of the month's rain across the country fell on the 9th. The month had the fewest number of rain days since 1959. It was particularly dry in Scotland and Northern Ireland; Plymouth only had 4 mm of rain, and Aberdeen 16 mm - both local records. It was a very sunny month in the west and south, less so in parts of the east. Very sunny at Morecambe (only bettered by 1991, 1959, and 1933.

2003 The sunniest September since at least 1964, with England and Wales averaging over 6 hours of sunshine a day. It was also a dry month, as you might expect from the sunshine totals: 47% of the average, with some places on the south coast seeing much less, and some places hardly any. It was also warm at the beginning (with 5 consecutive days over 80F from the 13th). There was also a notable late heatwave, from the 13th to the 22nd, particularly in the southeast, peaking with 28.4C at Gravesend on the 17th (the latest reading over 80F since 1985). It was much cooler and unsettled from the 22nd. There were also some cool nights: -3.5C at Strathardle (Perthshire) on the 24th, and temperatures close to -3C in southern England - the lowest September minima here since the famous September of 1919. The month's maxima were the highest since 1959, and the minima the lowest since 1993.

2004 The first ten days were dry, warm, and sunny; the rest of the month changeable and very windy. Overall it was warmer and sunnier than average; very dry in the east, and wet in the west. It reached 29C at Wisley (Surrey) on the 5th. There were air frosts in a few places early on the 16th. The first ten days of September were the sunniest since 1933.

2005 Across the country it was warmer, drier and sunnier than average: indeed it was the fifth hottest of the last century (beaten only by 1929, 1949, 1961, and 1999). There was a notable short-lived hot spell at the start of the month. The night of the 3-4th was warm and humid, with a minimum of 20.4C on Guernsey. Then 29.7C was recorded at Northolt (NW London) on the 4th. Also on the 4th, Charterhall (Berwickshire) recorded 27.4C, the hottest September day in Scotland since 1991. The first half was particularly warm and largely settled (beaten only by 1949), the second half more disturbed. There were some early ground and even air frosts in the second half of the month. Shap saw -1.7C on the 16-17th (the lowest in mid-September since 1986). Most of the rain fell in the final week.

2006 There are now two CET series, using different means of computing the averages. According to the Met Office series, September, at 16.8C, was the warmest on record. According to the more conservative series maintained by Philip Eden, at 16.6C it was the equal warmest on record (with 1729) - and warmer than August this year. A very southerly month. Very dry, sunny, and warm until the 21st, particularly in the south and east until the 21st, more unsettled after that. After an unsettled first week and it became drier and warmer. It reached 28C at Margate on the 6th - the highest temperature anywhere in the UK since 6 August. As the heat continued to build, it reached 30.2C at Heathrow on the 11th, and a reported 30.5 at Kew Gardens on the same day. The heat triggered a few violent storms in the south and Midlands. Some severe weather around on the 14th, with thunderstorms and several small tornadoes in northern Britain. It reached 29.0C at Sutton Bonington (East Midlands) on the 21st, the latest temperature so late in the year since 1985. Overall quite sunny and dry, but the last ten days stopped it from being exceptionally so.

2007 Mostly anticyclonic and settled, particularly the first three weeks. Winds often came from the northerly quarterly, although temperatures were about average overall (slightly above, but making it the coolest September since 2001). Dry (nearly 50% beneath average) with about average sunshine. There were some cool days and nights. The highest temperature of the month was 25.8C at Howden (Yorks.) on the 7th. There was an outbreak of tornadoes in England on the 24th. The accompanying cold front brought some low temperatures: the maximum at Braemar on the 26th was just 7.1C.

2008 Overall close to long-term average temperatures, although this was the coolest since 2001. Although iot was the coolest September in Northern Ireland since 1994, it was still warmer than the long-term average, making it the fourteenth September in a row which was warmer than normal. Across the UK the month had a cool, wet beginning, and it then became dry and anticyclonic. England and Wales rainfall averages 102 mm, 36% above average, and most of it fell in the first week. Although it was very wet in the west, with 270 mm of rain in parts of Snowdonia, it was relatively dry in parts of the east. The highest temperature of the month was just 23.4C at Buxton in Norfolk on the 11th, with many places in the south failing to reach 21C all month. The highest temperature in Northern Ireland was just 21.2 deg. C. at Killowen, Co. Down, on the 21st September, just scraping over 70F. Sunshine was in short supply, with many central parts of the country having the dullest September since 1976.

2009 Mostly dry, but with two notable wet spells. On the 3rd and 4th, heavy rain affected northern and eastern Scotland, with 500 mm in 36 hours over a wide area, and over 100 mm at Lossiemouth. We had local flooding, and it was the wettest spell I've recorded, although, needless to say, we were away at the time. On the 15th a heavy band of rain affected SE England; Farnborough has 60 mm. Interestingly the SW-NE band was only 15 miles wide. Overall though the driest September for 12 years, with and England and Wales average of 33 mm (45% of the long-term 71-00 average). Many places in East Anglia and the east saw no rainfall at all after the 6th. Warmer than average. The highest maximum was 28.7C at Swanscombe (Kent ) on the 8th, and the lowest -1.2C at Kinbrace (Sutherland) on the night of the 18-19th. Slightly sunnier than average, particularly on the south coast, where Weymouth enjoyed 207 hours.

2010 A mixed month, overall with average rainfall and sunshine and a little warmer than average. The highest temperature of the month was 24.6C at Swanscombe (Kent) on 22nd, and the lowest -4.4C at Tyndrum (Stirlingshire) on the night of the 25-26th, and also at Kinbrace (Sutherland) on the 26-27th - this was the lowest UK September minimum since 1993. Scotland and Northern Ireland were slightly wetter than usual. It was wetter in the west and drier in the east. The sunniest place was Jersey airport in the Channel Islands, with 190 hours.

2011 A changeable, very southwesterly month. Overall about 1.5C above the long-term CET average. The highest temperature came right at the end; the lowest was -0.4C at Tyndrum on the 15th. Relatively dry in England and Wales, with 57 mm being 69% of the long-term average, although it was slightly wetter than average in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It was slightly sunnier than average (155 hours, 108%). On the 12th the remnants of Hurricane Katia brought gales and rain to the north. There was a remarkable heatwave at the end month, giving some of the highest temperatures at the end of September since 1895. It reached 28.8 ºC at Kew Gardens on the 29th, and 29.2 at Sutton Bonington (Notts.) and at Cambridge on the 30th.

2012 Cool, but sunny. Mean temperatures everywhere were about 1C beneath average. The highest temperature of the month was 29.3C at Writtle (Essex) and Cambridge on the 9th, and the lowest minimum was -4.1C at Braemar on the morning of the 23rd. Overall the England and Wales rainfall was 89mm, or 108%. The first three weeks were generally dry. The 24-25th saw one of the worst September storm for 30 years, with some very heavy rain and widespread flooding. In this period 131mm of rain fell at Ravensworth (North Yorkshire). Sunshine totalled 171 hours (118% of the 81-10 mean), making it the 12th sunniest in the last century.

2013 Quite dry and on the cool and dull side. An early short, sunny heatwave, with 30.2C at Writtle (near Chelmsford, Essex) on Thursday 5th, which was the highest UK September temperature since 2006. The 6th was much colder, and wet in places too, with Durham seeing 45.6 mm of rain in 12 hours. Conditions were also bad at the North Yorkshire coast at Saltburn, which was hit by flash flooding, sweeping cars out to sea. 71.0 mm fell at Normandby (Middlesborough) and 64.0 mm at Redcar, much of it eleven hours. The minimum was -2.4C at Kinbrace (Sutherland) early on the 6th and Braemar early on the 26th. The lowest daytime maximum was 8.5C, also at Braemar on the 19th. Total England and Wales rainfall was 61.0 mm (79% of average). Sunshine came to 133.8 hours, 91% of average, with Jersey being the sunniest part of the UK.

2014 The driest in England and Wales since 1959 (total 15.5 mm, 20%) and across the UK for over a century, since 1865. Squires Gate (Blackpool) recorded just 1 mm all month. It was a warm month - actually warmer than August, a rare event (3%). The hottest daytime temperature was 27.0C at St. Helier (Jersey). Not surprisingly it was a very anticyclonic month. The only substantial rain fell in thunderstorms on the 18th and 19th; Exeter saw 41.2 mm. Sunshine was almost exactly average.

2015 A mixed month, with some fine anticyclonic spells in the second and final weeks. Overall it was cooler than average, particularly in the SE. Rainfall was about average in the SE, but dry in the NW. It was a sunny month. The highest temperature was 24.0 at Braemar on the 30th, and the lowest was -1.3C also at Braemar on the 30th.

2016 An extraordinary month. Overall very warm, with a CET of 14.6, making it the second equal warmest September from 1910. The first five days were unsettled, and then southerly winds brought hot humid air to the south. 29.3C was recorded at Gravesend on the 7th. It was slightly cooler from the 8th to the 12th, and then 34.4C was recorded at Gravesend on Tuesday 13th, a real record breaker, in many ways: it is the hottest day of the year on mainland Britain (but exceeded in July in the Channel Islands); it is remarkably late (you have to go back to 1926 for one later); it is the first time 90F (32.3) is exceeded in September since 1949; it was the first time since 1962 that the warmest day of the year in Britain was in September; and it was the hottest September day since 1911. There was also some very heavy thunderstorms to the north and west: Prestbury in Cheshire saw 32. 4mm of rain in just one hour; Manchester City's Champions League clash with Borussia Monchengladbach had to be postponed. There were some high minima that night, with 20.8C recorded at locations in Kent. The next day was warm too, with Marham reaching 31.1C. The second half of the month was much more changeable. Rainfall was about average, but it was dry in the east and wetter in the west. Sunshine was close to average.

2017 An unsettled, westerly month. There were few warm days; the highest temperature of the month was 24.0C at Hawarden on the 4th, and the lowest -1.2C at Altnharra on the 22nd. THE CET was a little beneath average, at 13.8C. It was a wet month across most of the country, particularly England (130%) and especially Wales and Northern Ireland. It was a dull month, England and Wales averaging 112 hours (just 77%), and Northern Ireland only saw 97 hours. Storm Aileen 12-13th, was the first named storm of the season, and its effects were increased by its earliness with leaves still being on the branches.

2018 The month started fine in the south, but soon became unsettled everywhere. There was a notable gale midmonth. The end of the month was more settled in the south. Temperatures were very close to average; rainfall 108% (being particularly wet in the NW). It was sunny in the east, with London having 130% of average, and 108% of sunshine country-wide. The highest temperature of the month was 26.5 C at Cambridge on the 17th, the lowest -3.6 C at Katesbridge (County Down) on the 29th. 105 mph was reported on the Tay Bridge, Dundee, during the storm on the 19th.

2019 A fairly average month, with CET slightly above average at 14.3C, but wet (127%), particularly in the south. The month was mostly quiet, becoming warm, but then very unsettled and wet for the final third of the month. It was a sunny month (115%). The highest temperature of the month was 27.7C at Weybourne (Norfolk) on the 22nd.

2020 Overall very slightly warmer than average, but maxima were above average in the SE. A westerly start to the month. Then was another short heatwave: after a warm start to the month, it was 29.6C at Charlwood (Surrey) on the 14th, and then 31.3C at Frittendn (near Tunbridge Wells, Kent) on the 15th. It didn't seem that long ago that 30C+ was rare in September; there were none between 1973 and 1999. It wasn't hot everywhere: here in East Scotland for example it was 18-19C, and in the west of Scotland it was only  13.2C at Baltasound (Shetland). Like all of this summer's heatwaves, the heat was short-lived: the next day it was much cooler, but still warm, with a high of 26.8C at Hurn near Bournemouth on the 16th. There were some unusually early frosts late in the month. On average it most mosty dry (77% rainfall) and sunny (117%). The temperature fell to -5.0C at Altnaharra on the 24th and Braemar on the 27th.

2021 Overall very warm and settled. It was the fourth warmest September since the start of the twentieth century, with only 1949, 2006 and 2016 warmer; it was the second hottest in Scotland. Unusually it was slightly warmer than August. Rainfall totals were close to average, 82%, although in some place much of the rain fell in the final four days. It was dull in the west and sunny in the east, overall 96%. The month saw a notable early heatwave. 1999 saw the first September day over 30 ºC since 1973; since then it has been fairly frequent, but 2021's heatwave saw two consecutive days over 30 ºC, 7th and 8th (Northolt 30.3 on the 8th, Gogerddan near Aberystwyth 30.7 and 30.8 at Hartpury College (Gloucestershire, the highest temperature of the month on the 7th). There was a thundery breakdown on the 9th, but it remained warm. The heat was widespread across Britain, with Scotland recording its hottest September day since 1906 with 28.6 ºC at Cherthall in the Borders, and 29.1 at Floors Castle near Kelso on the 8th. Wales recorded a tropical night, with a new record high minimum for Wales on the 7th of 20.5 at Aberporth on Cardigan Bay. A dramatic cold front swept south on Monday 27th, bringing much cooler air and heavy rain. Tornados were reported in eastern England: widespread damage was reported at Humberston near Grimsby. Autumn had arrived. 76.6 mm of rain fell at White Barrow (Devon) on the 29th.

2022 Overall slightly warmer, wetter, and duller than average, although with wide geographical variations. Generally unsettled, it was quite warm for the first 12 days before becoming cooler, and then cold right at the end. It was relatively dry in NW Scotland and East Anglia, and wet in parts of the SE, east Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Overall rainfall was 111% of average, and sunshine 92%. The highest temperature of the month was 27.7C at Felsham (Suffolk) on the 4th, and the lowest -1.7 at Shap (Cumbria) on the 17th. 100.4 mm of rain fell in the final rain day of the monthat Seathwaite (Cumbria).

2023  Very warm; with a CET of 17.0 it was the record warmest in the CET series, and across the whole UK it was the joint warmest with 2006. The maxima were particularly high; at 19.4 equalling 1895. It was particularly warm in the southeast. There was a extraordinary heatwave at the start of the month, delivering weather and temperatures absent from July and August. It delivered an amazing six consecutive days over 30º C, beating the previous record three in September (of 1898, 1906, 1911, and 2016). The 30+ maxima were: 30.2 Whitechurch (Dorset) Monday 4th; 30.7 Wiggonholt (Sussex) Tuesday 5; 32.0 Kew Gardens Wednesday 6; 32.6 Wisley (Surrey) Thursday 7; 30.9 Cavendish (Suffolk) Friday 8; 33.2 Kew Gardens Saturday 9; and 33.5 at Brogdale (Kent) (32.5 Cambridge) on Sunday 10th. It then cooled down slightly, with a maximum of 26.9C at Cavendish on Monday 11th. The recording of 33.52 at Kew on the 10th was also the highest temperature in the UK, the first time this has happened inSeptember since 1954 (the higest temperature of 2016 in mainland Britain happened in September, but it was hotter in the Channel Islands in July, and there is a disupted reading for 1962). The nights were also very warm, with a minimum as high as 20.5 at Plymouth on the night of the 5th, counting as a "tropical night". The month had the hottest September day on record in Northern Ireland, with 28.0 at Castlederg (County Tyrone). There were some severe thunderstorms across England midmonth, leading to localised flooding in the SW. Exeter airport was closed, and Exeter saw 63.8 mm of rain on Sunday 17th alone. A severe tornado passed through Wick and Littlehampton (West Sussex) during a thunderstorm on the 17th, causing significant damage to cars, trees, roofs, and windows with one person injured by flying glass. Remarkably the same area was affected by another tornado in October. The second half of the month was more unsettled and westerly, but in the south temperatures were still relatively high. Storm Agnes made an impact 27th-28th. Overall it was quite a wet month, 131% of the longterm average, and it was particularly wet where showers were heaviest, in east and south Devon. It was quite a sunny month, with 112% of the average monthly sunshine. The lowest temperature of the month was -3.5C at Kinbrace (Sutherland) on the 13th; 117.0 mm of rain fell at Honister Pass (Cumbria) on the recording day 19-20th; and a gust of 84 mph was recoded at Capel Curig (Conwy) on the 27th.

September in history

840 A superb display of aurora that was apparently visible as far south as the Middle East on the 24th.

1271     A catastrophic theunderstorm affected the Canterbury area on 11 September, with a [prolonged sownpour leading to flooding and widespread devastation.

1588 A great gale on the 18th causes great loss among the Spanish of the Armada.

1666 The Great Fire of London started on the 2nd, following a very dry summer, and was fanned by strong NE winds. A block had led to a long, hot, dry summer, with prolonged heating from the dry eaast.

1672 October was warmer than September this year.

1674 Very cold (estimated at 10.5). They probably could barely wait for next year ...

1675 Oh dear. 10.5C CET. That must have been miserable.

1694 Very cold, at about 10.5. The late seventeenth century Septembers tended to be rather chilly.

1703 Cold (10.6).

1729 Outstandingly hot, the hottest at 16.6C until 2006. Matched - or perhaps exceeded - by 2006.

1786 A great storm caused severe flooding over parts of Somerset (Bruton).

1795 One of the warmest on record (16.0); also the driest.

1804 The third driest on record.

1807 Very cold (10.5). Partly as a consequence, as the October that followed was very mild, October was warmer than September - the last time this has happened.

1810 One of the most violent tornadoes on record in Britain (estimated at T8, with winds up to 240 mph) raged from Old Portsmouth to Southsea Common on the 22nd. It was recorded as being 1/2 to 1 mile, which if true, would make it the widest recorded - but the figures are probably too high.

1816 Very cold (11.8C) - part of the "Year without a summer" following the eruption of Mount Tambora in SE Asia in 1815.

1845 Potato blight spreads when it is hot and humid. The summer of 1845 provided the perfect conditions. The blight reached Ireland in September.

1859 The Carrington Event, the most significant solar storm for which we have detailed records, occurred 1-2nd. Aurorae extended as far south as the Caribbean, and were bright enough to read by.

1865 The second warmest on record (16.3C CET) until the twentyfirst century, and the second driest (9.5 mm E&W average).

1869 Two lovers were killed by lightning at Stanningley in Yorkshire on the 5th.

1872 Along with 1948, this month recorded the earliest recorded air frost in the London district: the 22 September.

1885 The earliest date on which snow has been claimed in London: 25 September. This date should be viewed with some suspicion (it might have been hail). (The date of 19 October 1880 is more plausible for the London area.) It was certainly a very cold snap, with biting Arctic winds, thunderstorms, hail, showers, and snow reported in London, Surrey, and Leicestershire. The minimum on the 26th was -4C in Wales and the Midlands.

1886 Exceptionally severe thunderstorms affect South Wales after a heatwave on the 4th.

1890 September was the warmest month of 1890. Curiously, the same thing happened just 5 years later.

1891 Unusally the hottest day of the year was in September this year, 30.0 Loughborough (Leics.) on the 10th. Also this year the joint coldest day of the year was in March, and this March-September would not be repeated until 2023.

1895 There was an exceptional late heatwave spread over several days. 30.6C was recorded at Stratfield Turgis (Hants.) on the 25th and nearly on the 27th - this is the latest date 30C has been reliably recorded in this country, and the latest date which has been the hottest day of the year. (Curiously the 25th September is the also the earliest date on which snow might have fallen in the south - see just ten years earlier.) 27C (80F) was exceeded for a week (from the 23rd to the 29th) in many places in the south and Midlands. Bright sunshine was accompanied by a strong SE breeze. It was very sunny: 250 hours was exceeded along the south coast, with Guernsey seeing 272.8 hours, and Eastbourne 246.8. Overall the average maximum for the month was very high

1898 Heatwave, thunderstorms and flooding: the temperature exceeded 32C on the 7, 8, 9, and 17th. Very sunny: indeed, September was the sunniest month of the year - the only time on record that this has happened.