Sunday, 31 October 2010

Shorter afternoons are on the way

Saturday was another very nice day for the end of October. It was pleasantly mild in some spells of afternoon sunshine.
From 03 Weather 2010
The clocks go back one hour overnight tonight so it reduces our afternoons by an hour of daylight. It seems a bit of a shame to shorten pleasant afternoons. No rain again today so October looks as though it’s going to be drier than average.

I made a start on sorting out our dahlias to make sure I don’t keep too many tubers of the same colours over winter. To improve the colour range some new tubers might be bought next spring.
From 03 Weather 2010
Hopefully a few more pleasant afternoons next week should see the job completed.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Signs of spring!

The mild spell of weather continued on Friday. It was dry but windy at times and we didn’t have any recorded hours of sunshine.

Although we are still in autumn, with winter approaching, I noticed the first signs of spring in the garden as I spotted these daffodil bulbs already sending up new shoots.
From 03 Weather 2010

Friday, 29 October 2010

Continuing mild

Thursday was more or less a repeat of Wednesday but not quite as mild and with a few more dark clouds in the afternoon threatening heavy showers which never materialised.

Winter will be on us soon! There seems to be long range forecasts for mild, cold, wet, or dry winters so someone will be right. Will it be the Met Office this year?
From 03 Weather 2010
Click here for the full forecast.

Thursday, 28 October 2010


Wednesday was a lovely day with some warm sunshine if a bit breezy at times. After some cold weather temperatures have recovered well and October is ending on a mild note. Trees are now in spectacular autumn colour. These were snapped at the local supermarket and garden centre.
From 03 Weather 2010

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Out of the west

Tuesday started off cold, just 2.3°C at midnight but with the weather coming in from the west it continued to get milder all day through to midnight when the temperature had risen to just over 14°C. Our warmest day for more than 2 weeks and all without any bright sunshine hours.
From 03 Weather 2010
The morning had some spells of rain with a drier afternoon to follow. The wind speed increased during the evening.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

First Frost!

Last week we had just a hint of frost damage but early on Monday morning the temperature was down to 0.2°C. The greenhouse and lawn were white over at home.
From 03 Weather 2010
As it was another lovely sunny day even though there was a definite nip in the air we decided to visit the plot to do some more tidying up before winter proper sets in. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon with a clear blue sky.
From 03 Weather 2010
The frost had clobbered the dahlias good and proper, bringing to an end this year’s flowers. Green leaves turned black overnight. They’ll need cutting back before getting their straw jacket and waterproof layer for winter. (Click here to read how we overwinter our dahlias). The kiwi had suddenly shed most of its leaves presumably due to the frost and as it was a calm day these remained where they had fallen. Any hope of more courgettes is dashed as they too suffered in the frost. It’s strange that the leaves look to be wilted by heat when frosted. My trusty old wheel barrow, left in the shade of the laurel hedge, still had ice in it by early afternoon when we arrived on the plot. Keeping busy on the plot is easy and in the sunshine it felt pleasantly warm.
From 03 Weather 2010
It turned out to be the coldest day of autumn so far with an average temperature of just 4.2°C.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Sunny and cold

Sunday was sunny and cold, much more like a crisp winter day than autumn. The last week or so has seen below average temperatures for the time of year. In keeping with the last few months October is looking as though it will turn out slightly cooler than average.

It’s a year since I began recording the daily temperatures. Last year we had a bit of an Indian summer from now until the beginning of November with daytime temperatures reaching the high teens and night time lows remaining in double figures. At the moment daytime highs are struggling to get into double figures!
From 03 Weather 2010

Sunday, 24 October 2010


The sun didn’t make an appearance at all on Saturday and a fairly prolonged shower around lunch time put us off a visit to the plot. The next couple of days are forecast to be sunny and cold with the possibility of overnight frosts.

As the overnight temperatures are dipping and getting nearer the 0°C mark it’s only a matter of time before the dahlia display and remaining soft fruit on the plot are finished off for another season. The temperatures have been low enough to cause minor damage to our late courgette plants.

From 03 Weather 2010

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Another visit to Fairburn Ings

Friday was sunny and mild so we decided to visit our local RSPB reserve at Fairburn Ings for the afternoon. I thought it might be a good opportunity to take some autumnal pictures of the trees around the reserve however most of the trees still have a green late summer look to them.
From 03 Weather 2010
The dappled sunshine through the trees, as we walked around the lake, was very pleasant for late October.
From 03 Weather 2010
And of course we managed to get some picture of the birds on the lake. This shot was by the lakeside feeding station.
From 03 Weather 2010

Friday, 22 October 2010

Shady trees

Thursday had plenty of sunshine and was considerably milder than Wednesday tempting us down to the plot to do a bit more tidying up.

From 03 Weather 2010
To one side of our allotments is a row of extremely tall conifer trees which are already casting shade on part of the plot. Our parsnips were in the shade by mid afternoon. The shady part is much slower to warm up and takes much longer to dry out due to the shade cast by these trees.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Sunny and cold

There was plenty of sunshine but it didn’t prevent Wednesday from becoming the coldest day of autumn by quite some distance. Despite the sunshine the daytime temperature could only struggled up to 8.2°C and following on from an overnight low of just 1.5°C produced an average temperature of just 4.5°C. That's more like temperatures we would expect in January than October. The picture below shows the temperature around West Yorkshire at 08:00 hrs on Wednesday morning.
From 03 Weather 2010
Click here to view current live conditions of the Map

The map may be rather slow to load and need setting in terrain view to remove much of the background information. By changing the scale and scrolling around the map, just like any Google map the current temperatures around the world can be displayed. I'm amazed at the dozens of personal weather stations in all corners of the globe.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Tuesday was a cool day with some showers from early afternoon. We did have some sunshine, enough to tempt us to go down to the plot to carrying on tidying up beds ready for winter. We hadn’t done much tidying up before the clouds had a fairly ominous look of rain about them.
From 03 Weather 2010
Despite a couple of very short showers we managed to finish tidying up one bed, strim some paths and do more weeding of the strawberry beds as well as taking more pictures of the weather. With showers and some sun conditions were just right for the formation of a rainbow. I didn’t find the pot of gold just over the fence.
From 03 Weather 2010

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Dull and breezy

Monday was a mild day but dull all day with a blustery breeze from the west. Having escaped a frost early Sunday morning the forecasts are now predicting a frost on Wednesday followed by a cold sunny day.

Our late sowing of sweet corn has been a success and we still have a few fresh cobs to harvest. It will be interesting to see if these are damaged by the cold weather that is predicted. The cobs harvested on Sunday were well filled and tasty.

From 03 Weather 2010

Monday, 18 October 2010

Bumper Harvest

It was the coldest morning of the autumn on Sunday. However with plenty of sunshine the day warmed up and became a very pleasant late morning and afternoon. At last week made a trip to the plot to lift the last of the potatoes and pick some fresh vegetables. There’s also plenty of clearing up to do so there’s no chance of running out of jobs to get on with on the plot. As it was such a lovely afternoon we still managed time to take a break and a cup of coffee to enjoy the weather.
From 03 Weather 2010
Having not visited for a week we managed a nice autumn harvest of fruit and vegetables. I managed to lift about a half of my remaining Sarpo Mira potatoes. These had more slug damage than the potatoes previously lifted which is probably due to them being left in the ground in the recent damp weather. The cold temperatures overnight hadn’t damaged our soft fruit and we were lucky enough to harvest some alpine strawberries and late raspberries.
From 03 Weather 2010

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Medlar Harvest

Saturday wasn’t too bad a day. The morning had some sunny spells, but in the afternoon the sunny spells were spoilt by intermittent brief showers. The rain only amounted to 0.2mm all afternoon.

I took this picture in the afternoon. I was hoping it would show the rainbow which admittedly was faint even to the naked eye. It can just about be made out in the photograph.
From 03 Weather 2010
We picked our medlars today. Although we only have a small number of fruits, about the same as last year, I think the fruits are considerably bigger this year.
From 03 Weather 2010

Saturday, 16 October 2010

More cloud

Friday was another cloudy day. Temperature wise it wasn’t too bad just about making the average values for the middle of October.

It was a bit surprising that we didn’t get more rain. The cloudy skies were enough to put me off visiting the plot. At times yesterday it certainly looked as though it would absolutely pour down.
From 03 Weather 2010

Friday, 15 October 2010

Frost predicted

The sun didn’t manage to get out on Thursday and I didn’t manage to make it to the plot either. I’ll have to make a visit to harvest the remaining sweet corn as the forecast is for a frost on Saturday night.
From 03 Weather 2010
Click here to read full article.

The only fruit left to harvest is our medlars, which look a good crop this year. Let bletting begin. For more on medlars click here.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Work finished

The maintenance work was finished today and we got our house back. The weather on Wednesday continued with the breeze from the north. We have been lucky though with the weather, as having spent the last two days with holes in walls rather than windows, we might have had a damp and dusty interior to the house. The calm and dry conditions were just what we needed. Again today we had some sunshine although this went against the forecasts.

The weather blog picture is now restored to its sensible view through glass rather than yesterday’s hole in the wall view.
From 03 Weather 2010
Might even make it down to the plot for a quick visit this afternoon!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Getting cooler

Monday and Tuesday were very similar with cool dull and cloudy mornings and some afternoon sun. After Sunday’s mini heat wave the temperature has dropped off noticeably, even in the afternoon sun, with yesterday’s high of 12.5°C compared to Sundays 18.4°C.

It’s a week of maintenance work around the house so there’s unlikely to be any visits to the plot this week. Here’s the usual weather blog view of our garden but there is an important difference to be spotted!

From 03 Weather 2010

Monday, 11 October 2010

Poor start – Gorgeous finish

Sunday got off to a poor start with the dull overcast weather of the last few days continuing in the morning. This broke late morning to give a gorgeous afternoon with the temperature just managing to make it to the warmest of the month with 18.4°C.
From 03 Weather 2010

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Still in the ground

My potatoes are still in the ground, the weeds are still growing and the grass paths need cutting but Saturday was another dull damp day so I didn’t visit the plot. Hopefully there’ll be an improvement in the weather soon. The little chart of solar radiation shows the lack of sunshine over the last couple of days. A value of around 300 W/m2 is required to record sunshine or a least bright weather at this time of year.
From 03 Weather 2010

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Dull, damp and dreary

I’m now beginning to wish I’d dug up all my potatoes towards the end of August. For some reason I can’t recall I decided to leave Sarpo Mira in the ground for a while. As Friday produced a really damp and dull autumn day, not very good at all for drying out the ground, I think I might finish up lifting potatoes out of wet heavy soil if these conditions persist as forecast. It doesn’t help when the weather forecasters announce it’s been a beautiful autumnal day in other parts of the country. Strangely enough though Friday did produce the highest average daily temperature for the month so far.

From 03 Weather 2010

Friday, 8 October 2010

Can it last?

Thursday was a superb autumnal day with lots of sunshine. The afternoon became warm after a chilly start to the day.
From 03 Weather 2010
Today was a bit of a success with my weather station. After some messing about I’ve now managed to get the scrolling message working on my web site. This only works if you have Java software installed on your computer, which can be downloaded free from the internet. I still intend to adjust the information displayed by the text to supply details of longer term records before June this year.
From 03 Weather 2010
Click here or to visit my web site.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Shame it’s so wet

Wednesday was another pretty pleasant day with a reasonably amount of sunshine. Just after lunchtime we had a heavy shower. In the afternoon there were some dark clouds around but we missed any more rain.
From 03 Weather 2010
On the plot I dug up some Sarpo Mira potatoes but the ground was just too wet and it was impossible to distinguish potatoes from soil. I settled for just collecting some lettuce, spring onions and a cucumber for our salad. The afternoon rain was still in evidence on the lettuce leaves.
From 03 Weather 2010
I took this photo of a lone strawberry thinking it might make a good blog picture. It was only on closer inspection I spotted the slug, looking for its next meal, crawling around the side of the strawberry. The little bit of soil visible indicates just how wet the ground has become.
From 03 Weather 2010

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Greenhouse tidy up

Tuesday morning was rather dull followed by a nice afternoon with some warm sunshine for the time of year. We took the opportunity to clear out of our home greenhouse of the tomatoless vines and used grow bags. The grow bags will be used for soil improvement on the plot, probably to help prepare the new strawberry beds we are planning for next year.

The home greenhouse will be used to store some vegetables over winter as onion and shallot corner shows.
From 03 Weather 2010

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Last of the tomatoes

The last of the greenhouse tomatoes were picked today. Back in late July I thought the only tomatoes we were going to get were green ones and lots of green tomato chutney would have to be made. It’s turned out not to be the case and almost all our tomatoes have ripened fully on the vines in the greenhouse. Our most productive varieties were firstly the trusted favourite of many gardeners “Moneymaker” and also “Amish Gold” which I grew for the first time this year.
From 03 Weather 2010
The last of the greenhouse grapes were picked too as we made the most of Monday’s weather. It turned out to be a beautiful sunny day in complete contrast to yesterday’s washout.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Not a day for gardening

The only description for Sunday is wet. It rained from dawn to late afternoon with the heaviest rain in the afternoon. One spell of particularly heavy rain in the afternoon recorded a rate of 86.6mm per hour. That’s the second highest since the ridiculous rate of 144mm/hr in July which caused some local flooding. The video below is my best effort to capture this rate of rainfall. It doesn't do the rainfall any justice.

I’m sure my Davis Vantage Pro 2 weather station came up with a console message saying “raining cats and dogs” at this rate of rainfall but I only caught a fleeting glimpse as the rainfall subsided as I’d been busy videoing the event. Has anyone else seen this message on their weather station console?

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Good and the Bad

After the bad start to October Saturday turned out to be good. Mild and a reasonably amount of sunshine with no rain except for a light shower around 22:30.
From 03 Weather 2010
It was down to the plot in the afternoon. After yesterday’s rain it was very wet, too wet to pull up weeds which came up with a large amount of cloggy soil that didn’t want to leave the root. A little bit of tidying up, some dead heading of the dahlias and a couple of plots were strimmed. With the wet grass the strimmer had a fine mist from the wet grass around its cutting head.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Not a good start

Friday didn’t get October off to a very good start. It was another rainy and cloudy day putting any gardening activities on hold. Those weeds on the plot will just have to get a bit bigger. The rain lasted all day swaying between spells of light drizzle and fairly heavy but short bursts of heavier rain.

The sunshine record for the last 7 days (up to 09:00 Saturday) is shown below. Only Thursday shows any recorded sunshine hours. It's the dullest week since I started recording solar radiation at the begining of June this year.

A value of about 300 W/m2 is required at this time of year to record any sunshine.

I’ve also added the rainfall for each day, and whilst it’s been a dull and miserable week in general the rainfall hasn’t been exceptional.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Winter Onions Planted

As predicted Thursday had plenty of sunshine and was pleasantly warm. It was much better than the last few dull and dreary days. With more rain forecast for Friday I decided a visit to the plot to plant my winter onions was a priority. The onion sets Senshyu Yellow and Autumn Champion arrived from Dobies last week.

From 03 Weather 2010
There was a chance it would be too wet after yesterdays rain. The afternoon sun was warm but the grass still wet. Just had to take a few photos and video before planting my onions!

From 03 Weather 2010
The selected area for the onions needed a few weeds removing. The ground was quite wet, but weeds removed, the top couple of inches of the soil dug, and some fertilizer added the onion sets were soon in the ground.
From 03 Weather 2010
The rest of the bed just needs weeding now. Our small leek plants are in danger of disappearing under weeds. Hopefully if we don't get too much rain on Friday the weeds will be cleared over the weekend.