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Kent's September weather the driest since records began with just 7.2mm of rainfall, but cold snap is on its way

By KentOnline reporter

Kent has enjoyed a record-breaking dry spell as the predicted Indian summer failed to disappoint.

The county experienced its driest September since records began more than a century ago, with just 7.2mm of rainfall.

That is only 13% of what would normally be expected at this time of year, making Kent one of the driest places in the UK.

Deal seafront is among the areas of Kent to have been bathed in sunshine. Picture Tony Flashman

Deal seafront is among the areas of Kent to have been bathed in sunshine. Picture: Tony Flashman

It is also considerably lower than the country's total of 19.4mm of rainfall for September - a record-breaker in itself, and just 20% of what would be expected.

Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson explains: "The jetstream that affects the UK has been particularly far north throughout September.

"High pressure has therefore been the dominant pressure pattern. It brings dry, fine and settled conditions with plenty of sunshine.

Jasmine Chambers, three, enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather

Jasmine Chambers, three, enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather

"What it's also done is deflect areas of low pressure that bring wind and rain in from the Atlantic and kept them at bay."

But before keen gardeners and car wash enthusiasts worry about a potential hosepipe ban, experts say they are not concerned about the dry spell's impact on water levels.

This is because the mild conditions are in stark contrast to the previous eight months, which were the WETTEST on record.

"It's down to the general topsy-turvy nature of the UK's weather - Meteorologist Mark Wilson

Mr Wilson continues: "It's quite exceptional to have a record-breaking wet period followed by a record-breaking dry September.

"But it's down to the general topsy-turvy nature of the UK's weather. We do have a variation of weather types coming in from all different directions because we are an island.

"As a result, we can have a real fluctuation in weather conditions from month to month."

Environment Agency deputy director of water resources Trevor Bishop adds: "Following the wettest January to August on record, water resources in England are around normal for the time of year.

"Even if rainfall is below average this autumn the country will not go into drought."

While many have basked in the sunshine, others have complained about a not-so-pleasant side effect of warm, dry weather - an invasion of creepy crawlies.

The warm, dry weather has led to an increase in spiders

The warm, dry weather has led to an increase in spiders

Mr Wilson adds: "We have been informed by various sources that there have been more spiders and daddy long legs around, which is due to the drier and especially the warmer conditions."

A number of species of disconcertingly large arachnids have been spotted in the county, including the venomous Hobo spider seen in Greenhithe last week.

Other insects making the most of the autumn sun are bees, which have been causing a buzz in Maidstone this week by pooing on people's cars.

But the warm spell is not set to last as we head into the weekend.

It is expected to turn wetter, windier and noticably fresher, with temperatures dropping down to the October average - or possibly lower.

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