British Weather

I have learned more about weather since I have been in living here. It often makes me laugh when I hear Americans complaining about the weather like the British request that it be the way it is. I am from Colorado so I know what it is like to have four seasons.

One reason why I have learned about the weather is because of my husband, he is a window cleaner and he looks to see what the weather is like at night to know what it might be like early in the morning . If it is cloudy, no frost, if there aren’t clouds, expect frost because the clouds hold down the heat towards the earth. Generally the south is warmer than the north and the west is wetter than the east but this can change as you will find out.

Another is because I belong to a sailing club and therefore are interested in the wind. Gales are strong forces of wind with speeds of 32-63 mph.. They generally prefer to sail when the wind is at   knots. They will not sail when it is   knots as it is too windy.

What are the seasons like?

  • Spring
    • March to May
    • Calm, cool and dry
    • Days start to get longer
    • They have long summer days due to their location on the northern hemisphere, it can last up to 18 hours in some places in Scotland. This also contributes to the very short winter days.
  • Summer
    • June to September
    • Warmest Season
    • This is the time Americans start to complain about the lack of Air Conditioning.
    • Thunderstorms- surprisingly for the amount of the rain we have very little thunderstorms
  • Autumn
    • October to November
    • Rainy
  • Winter
    • Lasts from December to February
    • Cool, wet and windy, the later in the season the more the weather settles.
    • It does snow in England but doesn’t stick around for long. It is very rare to have a White Christmas I have seen only one in the entire time I have lived here. It rarely snows enough for good skiing so if you are after a good run on the slops head for the Alps.

The greatest influence on the weather is the Atlantic Ocean. The North Atlantic Current brings warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and contribute to the humidity. Being so close to the ocean also means we have strong winds. The North Atlantic Depressions contribute to the rain that we receive.

It rains about 113 days a year in East Anglia. Although England has a reputation for being wet, London actually has less rain than Rome, Sydney or New York City. Cambridgeshire is amongst the driest counties in England.

In order to help you decode the weather report, here is a good guide:
  • High pressure area in the summer is when the air is falling towards the ground and producing fair weather. The air under high pressure dries and produces nice weather. If you are going to be planning a day out, this is what you want to hear.
  • Low pressure is when the air is rising and it brings rain. Good for the garden!
  • Isobars- white lines on the map which indicate the winds on the map. The closer they are together the windier it is.
  • Fronts are lines where there are two different masses of air. A cold front (blue triangles) is cooler and fresher air and brings heavy rain . Warm front (red semi circles) shows warmer air into the country. When they collide, it means rain so bring your brolly!
Want to predict the weather or learn what the clouds are check out this guide from the BBC.

Here is more great information about The Great British Weather!

All the Best!

American to Britain