The Predictability of the British Climate

The only predictable thing about the British weather is that it is totally unpredictable. The British Isles are a small group of islands and the weather can vary across the length and breadth of the land. The organizers of events are often caught out by unpredictable weather during what should be the British summer, the weather can change in an instant and what has been bright sunshine can suddenly be a thunderstorm.

 The summer of 1976 was a long hot summer in Britain. Temperatures of 35 degrees Centigrade were recorded in places, very hot for Britain. Just outside London the summer heat wave began in May and the summer went on until September. The only day it rained was June 19th 1976, the day of a family wedding, and it rained from early morning until some time in the night. The day before the wedding was clear skies and hot sunshine and the day after the wedding was exactly the same.

In 1976 The British government appointed a Minister for Drought Dennis Howell who became the Minister for floods when the summer weather finally broke and the heavens opened.

 If you go to Hastings on the south coast of England it can be pouring with rain and yet the next town Bexhill-on-Sea can be bright sunshine.  It can be beautiful sunshine in the South and snowing in Scotland. Ireland and Wales have a lot of rainy weather; Scotland is generally colder than England. The North of England is generally colder than the south. The west of England is generally wetter than the east.

English has so many words describing the weather and it is something that English people discuss endlessly. Rain can be just raining or pouring, spitting, drizzling, raining cats and dogs, or, if mixed with mist, it can be mizzling.

 If you listen to a British weather forecast the forecaster must often split the country into areas because the weather is different in each part of the Kingdom. However, the areas that the weather forecaster uses can be misleading, sometimes it rains on one side of a street whilst the other is bone dry. The best thing to do is to look at the sky and judge for yourself whether to put your washing out on the line to dry.

 Summer 2009 in Britain was characterized by terrible floods. Winter 2009/10 saw the country paralyzed by snow and ice.

 The predictability of the British Climate is that it will always be unpredictable. British weather is never boring, perhaps that is why the British people love to talk about it so much.