Hottest October Day on Record

People on a beach

People on a beach: Picture from the BBC

The BBC happily report that today has been the hottest October day ever recorded in the UK – with Gravesend in Kent reaching 29.9 °C, and it felt like Teddington was not far behind. Hearing this  I just felt inclined to comment on the climatological significance of this event:

  • There is no climatological significance.

As this wonderful song explains, climate is the averageweather over a period time. A description of climate can also include measures of the variability of the weather, and of the likely occurrence of extreme events. But there is no way to argue that because today is a hot day, the climate has changed.

The single datum – that today was the hottest October day on record – is entirely consistent with stories in which (a) the climate is changing and (b) it is not. Only time will tell.

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