The weather may be on the turn. In South East Wales the heavy rain looks to be passing through overnight and not returning during the 5-day forecast period. Instead the expectation is that it will be replaced by sunshine and temperatures approaching freezing.
The weather during November has been unusually warm. Though there have been one or two light ground frosts the air temperature has remained above freezing the whole month. I monitor outside temperatures in order to ensure that tender plants are adequately protected and, being a methodical if somewhat boring sort of person, I record when the temperature first drops below zero each winter.
This year has been unusual but not exceptional. The notes in my diary tell me that 2000 was the wettest Autumn since records began in 1722 and that November 2006 was unusually warm.
In between times Novembers have been colder but it is notoriously difficult, to the point of being impossible, to generalise about weather trends from anecdotal evidence. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that on recent evidence it seems to be statistically more probable that there will be significant frosts in November than not.
The fact that there have been no sub-zero temperatures and that it has been very wet has meant that going out in the garden on Monday was depressing. Instead of Autumn leaves rustling underfoot they were a sodden mass collected in corners by the strong winds. The soil, always heavy, was way too wet to work on. But on the plus side fungi were thriving and here and there a few wet-tolerant plants were still in flower.
Despite that, I’m really looking forward to winter arriving in the mountains. Though again anecdotal, there does seem to be a tendency for winters to become milder and wetter. Winter 2010-11 was very hard with very low temperatures for weeks and heavy snowfall. Here’s hoping it happens again.