Climate And Weather In The UK

Climate And Weather In The UK
With its position as an island on the western edge of Eurasia, the largest landmass on the planet, the climate of the UK is based on an unstable combination of dry continental air and moist maritime air, causing high variations in temperature and unsettled weather, often occurring in the course of a single day.

Although the UK has an unenviable and slightly unfair reputation for incessant rain and grey skies, its weather patterns are distinctly regional, based on proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and its Gulf Stream, without the warming influence of which the entire country would be far colder than its immediate continental neighbours.

The western regions of England and Scotland together with Wales and Northern Ireland are the warmest, windiest and wettest, with the smallest temperature variations, due to their closeness to the Atlantic. The eastern regions are much cooler, drier and less windy, with the highest temperature variations of all UK areas.

In the north, colder weather brings more snowfalls in winter, increasing in severity in Scotland and on high ground. Here, the temperature ranges are also higher. In addition, large cities across the UK such as London, Birmingham and Manchester create their own micro-climate and are warmer and often wetter than nearby rural areas.

The overall influence of the southwestern tropical maritime air mass movements covers the country, but the eastern Scottish and northeastern UK seaboards are subject to cold, dry air from the continental polar air mass. In all seasons, massive differences between the air temperature in the southeast of England and the far north and northwest of Scotland can reach 20?C or more.

In general, average summer temperatures in England range from 18?C to 21?C in the warmest months of June, July and August, with spikes up to and over 25?C on occasion. Winter lows in the coldest months of December and January average 2?C, with frequent drops below zero in most regions except London and the south-west.

The wettest time is between October and February, with rain often falling as snow, especially in northern regions but rarely in London, although rain is expected throughout the year. Scotland sees the coldest, wettest and cloudiest weather, with road transportation occasionally severely affected, especially in the east and the highlands.

The climate of Wales is milder and more pleasant than that of Scotland, with warmer winters than are common in most of England, although more rain falls here than in England or Northern Ireland. The warmest and driest months are July and August. Northern Ireland, due to its small size and proximity to the Gulf Stream, has much milder winters, although summers are cooler than in England, Wales and Scotland.