Get set for a blast of summer heat to hit the UK this weekend - just don't call it an Indian summer

The view in West Northamptonshire on Tuesday morning.
Credit: uWhoAndyR
An autumnal scene in Harlestone, Northamptonshire. Credit: uWhoAndyR

October is the second month of autumn in meteorology, but after the joint-hottest September on record for the UK, this month has continued the warm trend.

In fact, by the weekend, some parts of the south-east could be some 8C to 10C above average for the time of year.

Hot air currently over parts of Iberia will be pushed northwards by the jet stream and high pressure cell through the remainder of the week.

This will allow temperatures in parts of England to reach comfortably into the mid-20s through Saturday and Sunday.

Expected highs of around 26C on Sunday will mean the country will be warmer than Los Angeles in California and European beach destinations such as Mykonos in Greece.

Jet stream set to pull the hot air over parts of Iberia northwards in time for the weekend Credit: ITV Weather

It's led many people to ask whether we are now seeing an Indian Summer.

But the short answer is: No.

An Indian Summer is regarded as a warm spell that usually occurs after the first frost of the season - which we have not yet seen in autumn 2023.

This tends to happen in late October or November.

However, the conditions are unusual for this time of year.

According to a Met Office attribution study, the UK September 2023 mean temperature of 15.2C - the joint hottest on record - would be virtually impossible without human-induced climate change.

On 1 October, mainland Spain experienced its hottest October day on record, as the mercury reached 38.3C.

This heat so late in the year is very rare.

I wouldn't be surprised if more studies suggest this would not have been possible in a world without man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

September was hotter than the whole of summer 2023 (June, July and August) and this has only happened twice before, in 1890 and 1929 (records back to 1884).

As global temperatures continue to rise because of man made climate change, we expect the likelihood of hotter summers, and no doubt warmer starts to autumn, to continue and become more frequent.

29.9 Gravesend 1/10/2011 - UK

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