England is part of the United Kingdom (along with Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland). It is situated to the west of Eurasia and has an extensive coastline. Such a positioning is responsible for its fairly complex climate, which demonstrates the meeting of the dry continental air and the moist maritime air. This creates rather large differences in temperature ranges and also leads to the occurrence of several ‘seasons’ over the course of one day.
English cathedral on a perfect summers day.
Generally speaking, the parts of England closest to the Atlantic Ocean experience the mildest temperatures, although these are also the wettest and experience the most wind. The areas in the east, on the other hand, are drier and less windy, but also display cooler temperatures.
England is warmer and sunnier than any of the other countries making up the United Kingdom. The month with the most sunshine is July, which is also England’s driest month.
On average, the sun shines for about 1340 hours every year in England. The south coast has the clearest skies (i.e. the least cloud cover) due to the prevailing winds in that area. This means that counties like Kent and Sussex benefit from significantly more sunshine, attracting local and international visitors to their shores. The cloudiest areas are in the northern and western parts of England as well as in the mountainous areas.
England’s climate is expected to change over the course of a few decades due to pollution and global warming. Annual temperatures are expected to rise by two degrees Celsius and summer highs are expected to soar by three degrees by the year 2050. Rainfall will decrease in general but winter rainfall will increase.
Spring is from March to May and is cool and dry. Noonday highs can become quite warm, particularly as summer approaches. However, snow is still possible, right up until the middle of April. Temperatures range between about 0 and 10 degrees Celsius during the English spring time.
Between June and August, England experiences its highest temperatures. While this is the driest season, localised thunderstorms (usually in the southern, eastern and central parts of the country) ensure that the gardens are kept lush and green. The south eastern parts of England generally experience higher noonday temperatures, which reach around 30 degrees Celsius at the hottest, while most days average around 17 to 20 degrees.
Autumn occurs between September and November and produces unstable weather conditions throughout England. Different pressure systems and cold air creates an increased amount of precipitation. Autumn temperatures range between about 1 and 13 degrees Celsius.
The cold winter lasts from December until February. This is a very wet and windy season and snowfall is common in many parts of England. Temperatures can range from as low as 0 degrees Celsius to about 10 degrees Celsius, with very chilly winds. During late winter, when the Atlantic Ocean has cooled down, the climate stabilises, particularly along the coastal regions.
Snowfall is an annual event, with only the quantities differing over regions and time. Over the past few centuries, decades and years, snowfall has decreased due to the ever-changing effects of global warming.
For more information, please view: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/