The climate of England
According to the Köppen climate classification England has a moderate
sea climate (type Cfb) with relatively mild winters, warm summers and
rainfall all year round. England has the reputation of being very wet.
If you believe the stories about England’s climate it rains every day.
Some parts of the island of Great Britain are much wetter than
England, which is just a part of Great Britain; such as Scotland in
the North and Wales in the West. Some parts of the counties of Essex,
Kent and Cambridge get less than 500 milimeters of rain per year. This
amount can be compared to that of the French Riviera.
Climate information of places and areas in England
The climate information on this page is only brief. Specific
information about weather and climate can be found on the climate
pages per area or town. As for England the following climate
information is available:
Influence of the sea
Because of its situation in the north western part of Europe England’s
climate is strongly influenced by the surrounding seas such as the
North Sea, the Celtic Sea, the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The
Gulf Stream supplies relatively warm sea water. Because of the warm
sea water temperatures do not drop rapidly; during the winter
temperatures are above freezing point on average in the entire
country. During the summer the sea water is responsible for a
tempering effect. During the summer the highest temperatures are
recorded in places that are least affected by the influence of the
sea. This is mostly in the south eastern part of England; during the
summer also in the south westerly tip of England (Cornwall and
The latter often benefits from the supply of warm air that comes from
the south. Some places in the south western part give you the feeling
you are on the Mediterranean Coast rather than in England. Palm trees
and beautiful sand beaches feel un-English.
Summers in England are quite pleasant. During longer periods of
pleasant weather temperatures are between 24-28 degrees Celsius. A
change in weather is often caused by a change of the direction in
which the wind blows. Unstable weather with lower temperatures and
rain are often caused by the supply of colder air from a northerly or
westerly direction. When a jet stream which blows from America to
Europe lies over England a constant supply of depressions via the
colder sea water is often the case. This results in bad summer
weather. However, the surrounding countries of Scotland, Wales and
Ireland protect England from the worst weather.
England only gets about 700 millimeters of rain per year on average;
usually precipitation is in the form of rain. There is a large
difference in the distribution of rain; the south western and north
western parts of England are much wetter than the eastern part of
England. The hills and mountains in the northwest get large amounts of
rain. The Lake District is the wettest area in England with about
2,000 millimeters of annual precipitation. Fog and overcast skies make
the grey image complete; so this part of the country corresponds to
the image most people have about the weather in England. The very
green hills only get about 1,000 hours of sunshine per year. During
the gloomier years these areas only get about 800 hours of annual
sunshine; this is the same as less than 3 hours of sunshine per day.
Winters in England are reasonably mild. In a lot of places maximum
temperatures are well above freezing point. The number of nights with
subzero temperatures also is small. However, when there is a supply of
cold polar air from the north temperatures may drop rapidly and
subzero temperatures during the night are not uncommon. There is not
that much snowfall in England because the air is not cold enough.
However, when snow falls large amounts are not uncommon causing
traffic problems. During heavy snowfall some cities come to a halt
altogether. There are no organized winter sport possibilities in
England. There are no official ski tracks in England. However, when
hills are covered with snow you can go sledding or cross-country
skiing and even skiing.
Fierce winds are not uncommon in England because of the supply of
depressions via the sea. Especially in the higher regions in the
northern part of England fierce winds are not uncommon; chances of
gale force winds are even high. The south western part of England also
gets a lot of wind. During the worst storms a wind force of 10-11
(fierce to Hurricane-like) can be recorded. Every now and then
hurricane force 12 can even be recorded. Hurricanes caused by tropical
depressions are uncommon in England.
The figures below are based on long term weather and climate
records. They are an average for England. However, some deviations may
occur: The north western part and the south western part get more
rain; the east is drier. The northwest gets less sunshine; the
southern and eastern parts get more sunshine. Local deviations in
temperatures may occur, especially because of differences in altitude.
The temperature of the sea water is an average for The Channel. Along
other coastlines sea water temperatures may be slightly lower.
More climate information
Climate tables are useful but they don’t give an overall picture of
the climate and possible weather conditions during a period of time.
How high the chances are of hot or cold weather or hurricanes can
often not be found in these tables. This is why we offer extra climate
information per month. The information below is an average for a large
part of England. However, there are some deviations. Chances of long
lasting precipitation are highest in the north western part of
England. The UV-index figures may be slightly lower in the north and
slightly higher in the south. In the northern and north western parts
the guaranteed hours of sunshine are lower.
The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.