THE autumn is set to turn cold in the next few days, forecasters have warned.
After an unsettled start to the week with some heavy rain and showers around, much of the UK saw a return to dry and fine conditions on Thursday as a ridge of high pressure reasserted itself from the south.
And while high pressure will remain a feature through the coming days, it is set to turn increasingly chilly as the easterly breeze picks up with some local overnight frosts.
For many, an October holiday to the Mediterranean can be an ideal way to escape the autumn chill. But anyone jetting off to central parts of the Med this weekend in the hope of some late sunshine could be left disappointed, with two rounds of very disturbed weather set to strike the region in the coming days.
The first of these systems will move up from North Africa during Friday, bringing some torrential rain and thunderstorms and the threat of flash flooding to much of Italy, the Balkans, northern Greece and south-east Europe throughout the weekend.
Local gales may also develop on exposed coasts as the low deepens. The remnants of ex-hurricane Joaquin will then move into Iberia by the start of next week, combining with another disturbance to bring some further intense downpours and thunderstorms to Italy and the Balkans around the middle of next week.
Some considerable weekly rainfall totals are likely, with holiday hotspots in south-west Italy and southern Croatia perhaps seeing 7.8in (200mm).
Although early autumn weather can be hit and miss in the Mediterranean, persistent high pressure blocking to the north in recent weeks has driven a branch of the jet stream and surface low pressure systems further south. The unusually high sea surface temperatures over the Mediterranean have contributed to fuel some intense storms in recent weeks.
Just last weekend, flash floods claimed at least 17 lives on the French Riviera. The storms dumped 7.5in (191mm) of rain in Cannes, most of which fell in just a couple of hours through Saturday evening, with nearby Nice recording 4.3in (110mm).
Some of the Greek islands, including Kefalonia and Skopelos, also suffered devastation from intense rain a week earlier.