Met Office verdict on Indian summer heat blast in just weeks

BBC Weather: Gales and heavy rain forecast for UK

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An Indian summer is a term used to describe unseasonably warm temperatures in October and November. The official definition has been explained by the Met Office as “a warm, calm spell of weather occurring in autumn”. This, it says, is cited in the The Met Office Meteorological Glossary first published in 1916. As the country moves into autumn officially on September 22, the nation will wonder if the end of summer will see the back of gloriously warm temperatures and trips to the beach.

But, it’s not uncommon for a heat spike to return, according to the Met Office.

It says the warmest recorded temperatures in the UK were in Gravesend, Kent, on October 1, 2011 where the mercury shot up to 29.9C.

Prior to that a substantial 22.4C was also hit on November 1, 2015 in Trawsgoed, Ceredigion.

With an already record-breaking summer taking place just weeks ago, the outlook looks promising for above average temperatures.

But exactly how high they will go is still up for debate, according to Met Office spokesman Oliver Claydon.

He told “Although the outlook shows the chance of above average temperatures, average UK max temperatures in the autumn are not particularly high (16.85C for September, 13.08C for October and 9.41C for November) so I’m not sure experiencing above average temperatures would necessarily constitute as an Indian summer.”

Jim Dale, senior meteorologist at British Weather Services, also remained sceptical over a last minute heat spike before winter sets in for the long haul.

Speaking to, he said: “That won’t happen until October, with a 40 percent chance given global warming – lasting a week or more with a 15C to 20C range.”

This month looks to be a tale of two halves – with wet, windy and potentially thunderous downpours arriving next week.

But from the middle of September to the end, the weather will begin to level out once again.

The forecast for this period says: “Throughout this period, it’s likely the country will experience an east-west split in conditions, with eastern parts seeing the driest weather with the most sunshine, and western parts experiencing more rain or showers at times.

“Nocturnal mist or fog patches are expected to become more common through the period, with these conditions being most likely in the south and east.

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“Temperatures are likely to be above average for most.”

Forecasters will not be able to give accurate predictions in regards to October until at least one week before the month starts. 

But with uncertainty over rainfall and millions of people currently adhearing to a hosepipe ban, an Indian summer could see the drought period extended throughout the autumn. 

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