SIGN UP for our newsletter ✉️ :

Get the latest stories delivered straight to you

What is an Indian Summer? UK set for October heatwave


The UK has been forecast a mini heatwave in October, set to come after the impacts of Storm Agnes which brought wind and rain.

The Met Office has said one day next month could be 23C, an unseasonably warm temperature, Sky News has reported - while other sources such as have said it could be 25C in Kent on Monday.

Warmer weather will be a relief after Storm Agnes, which saw winds of up to 80mph last parts of the country causing power outages.

Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said “sunny spells and showers” will be felt on Friday before a new dawn comes on Saturday.

He told Sky News: “[There is] a glimmer of a more benign period as we begin the weekend.”

The brighter outlook into the weekend has raised hopes the UK could be set for a mini heatwave, or as it is known this time of year, an Indian summer.

Greg Dewhurst, senior operational meteorologist at the Met Office, told the Express the first week of October could see higher temperatures.

“Some models are showing 25-28C for London between October 5 and 9,” he said.

“There are signs that if we get enough sunshine on Monday (details uncertain at this stage) we could see temperatures climb to around 25C in the southeast of England but then fresher air moving in soon after this.”

What is an Indian Summer?

An Indian summer describes a warm, calm spell of weather that occurs during autumn.

Why is it called an Indian Summer?

In the Met Office’s Meteorological Glossary, published in 1916, an Indian summer is defined as “a warm, calm spell of weather occurring in autumn, especially in October and November.”

There are different theories about the exact origins of the phrase. Some say it may originally have referred to a spell of warm, hazy autumn conditions that allowed Native American Indians to continue hunting.

It was first used in the eastern United States, in a letter written by a Frenchman called John de Crevecoeur dated 17 January 1778. In his description of the Mohawk nation, he writes: “Sometimes, the rain is followed by an interval of calm and warm which is called the Indian summer.”

In the UK however, the term “Indian summer” was first used in the early 19th century and went on to increase in popularity. Previously, the phrase “Saint Martin’s summer” was widely used across Europe to describe warm weather surrounding St Martin’s Day (11 November).