View from the Rear Window - October 2023

 "The end of the Summer is not the end of the World. Here's to October" - A. A. Milne

"Would October be more interesting if it was the eighth month of the year?" - craftycabbage.com

After a promising start, with October giving its best impression of summer, the month reverted to type with strong autumnal flavours. With a plentiful supply of rain, some warmth and average amounts of sunshine, there was plenty of lush growth in the garden. With no frosts, there were still plenty of blooms to brighten up the garden. October 1st was a Sunday so the first photo was taken after I returned from river water testing (my Brompton cycle with Secchi tube protruding from the front carrier can be seen in the right foreground) - Photo 1.

Photo 1: View down the Garden (October 1st 2023)

By the end of the month (Photo 2), the leaves were taking on their autumn hues ...
 
Photo 2: View down the Garden (October 31st 2023)

A time lapse video of October's daily garden photos is shown in Video 1. This month's video is a little shorter than usual due as we enjoyed days and weeks away; here, here, and here.

Video 1: Daily Garden Photos (October 2023)

Summary of weather Parameters for October 2023

Warm and dry at the beginning of the month before turning cooler and wetter.

Table 1: Weather statistics for October 2023

October 2023

Weather Parameter

Value

Dates

Average Monthly Temperature 

12 oC


Maximum Monthly Temperature

27 oC

8th

Minimum Monthly Temperature

1 oC

15th & 16th

Number of Air Frost Days

0


Number of Hot Days (> 25 oC)

3


Monthly Precipitation

81.0 mm


Greatest 24 h Precipitation

18.4 mm

19th - 20th

Number of Dry Days

10


Monthly Sunshine Hours (estimated)

86



Average Wind Speed

2 km/h


Highest Wind Speed

37 km/h

13th

Maximum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1029.4 hPa

15th

Minimum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

974.7 hPa

20th

Average Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1006.9 hPa


Heating Degree Days

189.1


Cooling Degree Days

7.0



October's daily minimum and maximum temperatures (Figure 1) and rainfall/sunshine data (Figure 2) are summarised below:

Figure 1: Daily Min/Max Temperatures for October 2023

Basically, warm, dry and sunny for the first 10 days with a maximum temperature of 27 ℃ recorded on the 8th October. The rest of the month was cooler, wetter and more overcast but still pleasantly warm for the time of the year.

Figure 2: Daily Rain & Sunshine Data for October 2023

This October's temperature, rain, sunshine and wind  are compared with the previous three year's weather data in Figures 3 & 4. While the mean temperature for October 2023 was in line with that of the 2020 - 2022 period, this month's maximum (27 ℃) was anomalously high. Fortunately, no recorded air frosts over the last four years meant the growing and, especially flowering, season extended into November. 

Figure 3: October Temperature Data for the 2020 - 2023 Period

Rainfall shows considerable variability in this part of the country when looking at the past four years with this October being slightly below average. Sunshine was fairly typical of the last four years as was the number of dry days and the top wind speed.

Figure 4: Rain, Sunshine and Wind Data (October 2020 - 2023)

The UK Met Office's October 2023 Report can be found here. Figure 5 shows the mean temperature anomalies were between 1.5 ℃ and 2.5 ℃ above normal, relative to the 1991 - 2020 average, for the southern part of the UK including Herefordshire. Warmer Octobers are becoming a feature of the UK Climate; for example, see here and here.


Figure 5: UK Mean Temperature Anomalies (October 2023)

Figure 6 shows the rainfall in Herefordshire was noticeably above average this October although my weather data (Figure 4) suggested it was distinctly more average than that. However, comparison of October's rainfall data from my Davis Weather Station (81.0 mm, Table 1) with the 1991-2020 long term average (77.91 mm) from the nearest Met Office Weather Station at Credenhill (just a few miles away), indicates that, in Hereford, the amount of rainfall was close to the mean this October.

Figure 6: UK Rainfall (% Typical) for October 2023

Sunshine hours in Herefordshire, according to Met Office Data (Figure 7), were close to normal in agreement with the data from my Davis Weather Station (Figure 4).
 
Figure 7: UK Sunshine Hours (% Typical) for October 2023

Jobs in the Garden
  • Harvesting sweetcorn, rhubarb, apples (Rev Wilks), beetroot, French beans, Chard, Leaf spinach, grapes, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes (red & green), potatoes
Photo 3: Harvesting Green and Red Cherry Tomatoes
  • Lots of composting and garden tidying
Flora & Fauna

We were away for quite a bit of October so our sightings are somewhat lower than normal.
Photo 4: Blue Tit on a House finding Mission

Photo 5: Acrobatic Blue Tit
  • 1 x Dunnock
  • 1 x Great Tit
  • 6 x House Sparrows
  • 1 x Robin
  • 3 x Starlings
Video 2: Slo-mo of Young Starling on Bird Feeder

Photo 6: Starling in Flight
  • 1 x Wood Pigeon
  • 1 x Red Admiral (14/10/23)
Photo 7: Red Admiral in Polytunnel (later caught & released)
  • 1 x Small White Butterfly (3/10/23)
Photo 8: Small White Butterfly on Lemon Verbena Bush

And, finally, some photos from the garden:

Photo 9: Fuchsia in early October

Photo 10: Dahlia (10/10/23)

Photo 11: Another Dahlia (10/10/23)

Photo 12: Yet Another Dahlia (10/10/23)

Photo 13: A Collection of Dahlias

Photo 14: By Way of change, Fuchsia in the Paradise Garden

Photo 15: The Last of the Sweet Peas (10/10/23)

Photo 16: Snapdragons (10/10/23)

Photo 17: In case you missed them, Dahlia

Photo 18: Raindrops on Asparagus Berries (no whiskers on kittens)


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