November was a more unsettled month compared to most months since May though some regions still managed to stay dry despite the increased Atlantic influence.


November 2018 was a milder than average month and the first significantly mild month i.e. a deviation from average with 0.5°C or more, since July. Saying this, it was still only the mildest November since 2015 following quite a cold November in 2016 and a close to average November in 2017. The UK mean temperature of 7.3°C for November 2018 made it the joint 9th mildest on record for the UK back to 1910. The warmest November on record for the UK is 1994 with a mean temperature of 8.8°C closely followed by November 2011 with 8.7°C.

Meanwhile, for the Central England Temperature (CET) series which goes back to 1659, a mean temperature of 8.3°C made it the 13th mildest November on record. The warmest November on record for the CET is 1994 with a mean temperature of 10.1°C.

A maximum temperature of 18.3°C at Otterbourne, Hampshire on the 5th made it the highest November temperature in the UK since 2015 whilst -6.7°C was recorded at South Newington, Oxfordshire on the 22nd. This wasn’t as low as the October 2018 minimum temperature of -8.6°C; see our article on October 2018 here. This had been the lowest October temperature the UK had seen since 1993 and it’s very unusual how November’s minimum was higher than October’s. 

UK mean temperature anomaly map (against 1981-2010 averages) for November 2018. Credit: UK Met Office.


Like both previous Autumn months, November provided variable distribution of above and below average rainfall in the UK with 101% of average November rainfall for the country as a whole. This varied distribution is highlighted in the rainfall anomaly map below of November 2018 in the UK. Wettest regions were eastern Scotland, southwestern Scotland, Northern Ireland, western Wales, southwestern England and southern England. For most of these regions, it was their wettest November since 2015 whilst for southwestern England, it was the wettest November since 2009. 

Storm Diana brought a 24-hour daily rainfall of 56.0mm at Keswick, Cumbria in the 24-hours ending at 0900 GMT on 29th November 2018. 

UK rainfall anomaly map (against 1981-2010 averages) for November 2018. Credit: UK Met Office.

Despite the very dry Summer and exceptionally dry June for many (see our Summer 2018 analysis here), the January-November 2018 period in the UK only comes out as the driest since 2013 with a total of 944.1mm.

The wettest Jan-Nov period was 2008 with 1207.1mm whilst the driest Jan-Nov period was 1955 with 752.3mm.

UK rainfall totals for January-November from 1910 to 2018. Credit: UK Met Office.


Like rainfall, November 2018 provided some variability when it came to sunshine although the month tended to be on the sunnier side for the most part with 110% of average sunshine for the UK as a whole. It was a particularly sunny month in northwestern Scotland and East Anglia though not as sunny as previous Novembers including 2016 and 2017. Eastern Scotland, northwest England and southwest England tended to be dull during November.

UK sunshine anomaly map (against 1981-2010 averages) for November 2018. Credit: UK Met Office.

From January to November 2018, the UK has seen its sunniest January to November period on record with a total of 1543.1 hrs of sunshine beating the previous record of 1541.8 hrs back in 2003. You can see similarly very sunny January to November periods since 1929 on the graph below labelled.

UK sunshine totals for January-November from 1929 to 2018.

Due to the lateness of this article, there will unfortunately be no featured photography in this month’s stat article. Hopefully they will return next month for December 2018’s stats article. See you then!

Sean Bruen is a forecaster for Metcast (and Snow Watch). His main interests are historical and long range weather. He LOVES snow (his Twitter account is @SnowbieWx, go figure!) and his favourite season is Winter.