The United Kingdom is an island nation located off the northwest coast of continental Europe. The island is separated from the continent by the English Channel. The distance from the country’s southeast coast to the northern coast of France is only 35 km. The United Kingdom consists of the four geographical and historical parts of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, located in the British Isles (group of islands: the United Kingdom, the northeastern part of the island of Ireland and many small islands and archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean).
The capital of United Kingdom, London, is one of the world’s leading trade, financial and cultural centres. The distance between the Russian and British capitals is 2,500 km. The flight from the central part of Russia usually takes less than four hours.
The country, with a population of 62.8 million, is the 78th larges globally with an area of 242,514 km2.
United Kingdom is within just one time zone. London Greenwich is located on the prime meridian and is officially the zero point of reference for time zones.
The climate of United Kingdom is temperate oceanic, mild and humid (more humid in Northern Ireland, and Scotland, colder and drier). The weather is mainly influenced by the warm oceanic current of the Gulf Stream. The sea, surrounding the country from all sides, does not allow the air over land to heat up or cool too much. Therefore, sudden temperature changes rarely occur, but the weather conditions change often. Four different regions represent the climate throughout the territories:
- Southeast – cold winters and warm, dry summers
- Southwest – soft and very wet winters and warm and humid summers
- Northwest – mild winters, cool summers and frequent rain all year
- Northeast – cold winters, cool summers and steady rain throughout the year
Northern Ireland has a mild, humid climate with mild winters and cool summers. The warmest month is July, with an average temperature of 19C. The coldest month is January, and the average temperature is 8C. There is less rainfall and fewer foggy days than in England. On average, annual precipitation ranges from 1,200 mm to 1,600 mm.
Scotland is the coldest region in the UK. The instability of the weather is associated with a varied topography. In mountainous areas, temperatures can reach 10 degrees below zero in winter. January and February are the coldest months, with an average temperature of 3C. There is heavy fog and it rains 250 days a year. The warmest months are July and August with an average temperature of 19C. About 3,810 mm of precipitation per year falls in the west of the region, while the eastern parts see about 635 mm per year.
The climate in England is unstable, with frequent fogs and stormy winds. The average temperature in winter is + 5C. There is less precipitation in spring, but cold north winds blow. In summer, the temperature ranges from +16 to +32. The largest amount of precipitation falls in August. In autumn, cyclones prevail and the fog begins.
London has a mild and temperate climate. It is warm in summer, but not hot, though temperatures have risen in recent years. In 2003, the temperature reached a record high of + 38C. And the autumn of 2011 set new temperature records — at the end of September, the temperature rose to + 29C. Fog formation occurs most often in January and February. There are only about 45 foggy days in London, but half of the days are cloudy and overcast. The average temperature in summer is about + 19C. Winter is cool but not frosty. On average, the temperature does not drop below 7C. It rarely snows, the snow cover is only about 25 mm. And the average annual rainfall is less than in Rome or Sydney — about 584 mm. Read more about Cities of United Kingdom
Wales has a mild and humid climate similar to England. In January, the average temperature is about 5C and 16C in July. The area of the Snowdon massif is the wettest, getting 2,540 mm of rainfall, and about 762 mm per year in the central coastal area.
Even if you’ve never been to the UK, you’ve probably heard about its changing, humid and poetic weather, which has become an endless topic of jokes and anecdotes. Weather in United Kingdom is the most frequently discussed topic, and when you meet a resident of the country, the first thing to do is ask what you think about the weather. Due to its geographical position, the coastal strip of the island is often submerged in sea fog caused by the warm Gulf Stream evaporating in the cold Atlantic air. In terms of weather conditions, Foggy Albion is deservedly considered the most unstable place in Europe. In recent years, there has been a trend towards increased unpredictability of local weather, therefore you should trust the weather reports more than long-term statistics.
Read further: Pros and Cons of Living in United Kingdom