October was an eventful month; a very warm start as summer-like heat held on in England and Wales, and afternoon highs reaching 25C, before a stormy turn as storm Babet brought extreme rainfall and damaging gusts to large parts of the country.

Red warnings for rain were issued by the Met Office in Eastern Scotland as fronts associated with Babet stalled nearby. Unsurprisingly the region had its wettest October ever in a series going back to 1836.

This turn in the weather was due to a substantial ramping up of the jet stream, as cooling of the Northern hemisphere escalates as the days shorten and the sun angle weakens. The effect in Western Europe is that high pressure - and continued settled weather - is less able to exert control as lows coming in from the Atlantic are more powerful. Storm Ciarán, for example, was the strongest (lowest pressure) November storm recorded in England and Wales since records began.

Weather models are largely pointing at this active jet stream to persist for the next two to three weeks, so generally a continuation of wet and blustery weather for the British Isles. Purple shading on the map above, which is a model forecast of four week average precipitation anomalies, clearly shows this wet signal through the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe.

Also, on the map we can see low pressure centred to the South-West of Iceland, this suggests a strong Atlantic influence on the weather pattern. This has a milder than usual signal for much of the continent and Southern half of the British Isles, with Scotland running closer to normal. This weather pattern does however favour increased changeability as fronts travel faster across the ocean. So, some drier, sunnier, and colder spells sometimes lasting a few days are expected.

Lastly, a strong jet stream also means there’s more energy available to deepen low pressure systems out in the Atlantic similar to recent storms Babet and Ciarán. That means the month of November has the potential for at least one more weather system to become a named storm, depending on the storm track nearer the time.

About this author

Joe Eimermann

Joe Eimermann

Joe is a Meteorologist at SSE and a Member of the Royal Meteorological Society. He joined SSE in 2022, after completing his Meteorology degree, and focuses primarily on providing short-term weather forecasts for renewable power generation for the UK and Ireland markets, as well as assisting with longer range forecasts.

“Through detailed analysis of the weather and climate, the SSE weather team provide valuable information to departments across SSE, including Networks (power distribution), Renewable Energy (wind farms and hydro dams) and Energy Demand Forecasting (how much electricity and gas we need each hour).