Preliminary analysis shows that continental mean temperatures in September and October were 11°C — that’s 1.8 °C higher than the long-term average for these months. November was 2.5 °C higher than the average. The results show that 2006 has beaten the ‘hottest’ autumns of 1772, 1938 and 2000 by about a degree. Some flowering trees, such as horse chestnuts, may spring into blossom before winter comes, causing problems later in the year. And butterflies and other animals may face trouble if they miss the signal to reduce their activity for the winter.