John Hammond on the woefully overlooked charms of November.
Let’s face it. November wouldn’t rank all that highly in the nation’s ‘Favourite Month’
competition. But I love it! There’s something reassuringly cosy about the dark evenings – a humbling, primeval reminder that despite the world’s sophisticated advances, the annual celestial cycle never wavers. OK, the weather can get a little ‘stuck’ at this time of year; and with insufficient strength in the sun to shift it, fog can last for days. It’s
hard to find much excitement when it seems never to get fully light in those brief
hours between dawn and dusk. However, we are prone to clichés when it comes to November weather. The reality is less formulaic, more fickle, as autumn
transitions unsteadily towards winter. The ground is quickly cooling but our seas are still relatively warm. So despite being
closer to mid-winter, overnight frosts are actually rarer than in March, and Arctic visitations to our shores are unlikely
to bring widespread snowfall. In fact, some November days can be warmer than those of July. In exceptional years, 20°C has been achieved. With the low sun glistening through the leaves onto the village green, Guy Fawkes looks a little overdressed as he sits upon the readied pyre. By 3pm he needs his coat, though; the chill returning as the sun heads for the horizon and mist forms over dewy grass. So yes, November brings few fireworks meteorologically, but the calmness belies anticipation – the drama of a British winter.
Watch weatherman John Hammond on BBC News and Countryfile.