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England’s Climate


By Amelia Meyer

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.

Image of an English cathedral on a perfect summers 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.

Climate of the United Kingdom

The UK occupies an upper mid-latitude straddling 49 and 61°N on the western coast of European Europe. Northern Ireland Wales and Scotland constitute some of the warmest, rainiest and windiest regions in the United Kingdom. The UK is constantly near or within a route of the polar front jetstream. Northern areas are usually cooler and wetter and have somewhat larger temperature ranges than southern areas. During summer the northern island has temperatures around 15 °C (59 °F) while Cambridge in the East of England reached 38.7 °F on 25 July 2019. The average temperature ranges between 18 and 25 °C.

The sea water temperature has changed until now.

Surface temperatures have risen approximately 0.2% the last 30 years.

What is the average climate in England?

The climate of England is typically cool, with wet winters and warm summers.

What is the climate like in England?

England has a temperate maritime climate: it is mild with temperatures not much lower than -5°C (23°F) in winter and not much higher than 30°C (86°F) in summer. However, the temperatures will vary greatly depending on the season and latitude; in January, February or December for example, they can be very cold (the temperature can fall below -20°C (-4°F)) but in July or August, they are fairly hot (above 30°C/86°F).

Is England cold or hot?

You might think that this is just a stupid question. The answer is obvious—of course, it’s cold in England in the winter and hot in the summer! That’s what I thought, too. But then I happened across something that challenged my assumptions about climate…

Does England have a warm climate?

It would seem so, with average winter temperatures in the south of 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). But this is deceiving. The usual way that meteorologists measure the temperature—meteorologists being people who study weather and climate—is to see how often a certain temperature occurs in a given place over a period of time. There’s a saying that goes, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait fifteen minutes.” This is because even though it might be 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) out right now, the next time you look outside it could have dropped to 15 or risen to 25. Or it might not have changed at all! If we had a nice even temperature all the time, that’d be great. But as anyone who lives in a temperate climate will know, it doesn’t work like that.

Now take a look at this map from January 2011. Each blue dot represents one day where the temperature was exactly 5°C (41°F) at some point during the day. There’s a lot of those dots. And as you can see, they’re not evenly distributed! In fact, there are very few of them near London and the south-east of England:

This is why people would say that it was warmer in London than in north Wales—it wasn’t actually warmer in London, just less cold.

What is the weather like in England year-round?

In some parts of England, it really isn’t that cold in the winter. For example, just look at this map from January 2014:

Okay, so Liverpool is pretty chilly in January. But Glasgow? I can’t help but think that if someone said to me “It stays mild in the north of England all year round!” I would have believed them.

So what’s going on? Why does it look like English people wearing winter coats and mittens in the summertime if it’s not cold all year round? The answer is heat islands.

What are heat islands?

Heat islands, also called urban heat islands or cities that feel like saunas, are areas within a city or town that are warmer than the surrounding area. A heat island is created by several different factors working together, including the lack of vegetation (which would otherwise cool down cities by evaporating water), an abundance of heat-absorbent dark materials like concrete and asphalt on roads, buildings, and roofs (which can store heat during the day and release it at night), and a dearth of rivers (which can help cool down areas by bringing in water from other regions). Big, populous cities like London are especially vulnerable to heat islands because they contain so many people doing so many activities—cooking, running machines like air conditioners, leaving lights on all day, etc. It may be difficult to notice this effect when you’re in the middle of it but look at these two pictures. The one on the left is London while the one on the right is Somerset (western England). Everything that’s dark in London is light in Somerset and vice versa:

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