British Culture Guide

Janusz Siwiorek .

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The UK Seasons

Although the seasonal differences in Britain are not as extreme as in some countries, there is still a large difference between winter and summer. The year is split into four seasons roughly each 3 months long, though the weather in Britain can be very erratic and so the seasons often overlap or don’t follow the standard pattern. 

Below you can find the general weather conditions of each season in England.  All the stats are based on Met Office (the UK’s main source of information about weather) averages from 1971-2000. All the statistics are only rough ideas as conditions can vary hugely even within England.

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Winter (December to February)

    Average Minimum/Maximum Temperatures: 6.6oC- 7.4oC

    Average Min/Max Daylight Hours: 8-9 hours

    Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): 78 mm 

Winter is the coldest month in the UK, running roughly from December to February (although November can often suffer very wintry conditions too). Temperatures often get as low as freezing point (0oC), though usually not too much colder. This leads to frost in the mornings, ice on car windscreens and roads, and sometimes snow fall.  British winters are usually very wet and windy as well, so make sure you wrap up warm and waterproof. To add to the miserable weather, the hours of daylight are very short during the winter, with days in London getting as short as 8 hours at the end of December.   

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Spring (March to May)

     Average Min/Max Temperatures: 9.3oC- 15.4oC

     Average Min/Max Daylight Hours: 11-15 hours

     Average Min/Max Rainfall (mm): 60 mm

Spring in the UK is all about new life springing up after the harsh conditions of winter. From March (roughly), the temperatures start to get warmer, frosts get less frequent and the days start to get longer. This brings with it plants shooting up all over the country, trees regaining their leaves and animals giving birth. However, spring is often still quite wet and windy in Britain.

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Summer (June to August)

     Average Min/Max Temperatures: 18.1oC- 20.6oC

     Average Min/Max Daylight Hours: 16 hours - 16 hours 30 mins

     Average Min/Max Rainfall (mm): 61 mm

In theory summer in the UK should be hot and dry. In practice it is only hot in spells and it still rains quite a bit most summers. It is best to think of it as a way of making the hot days feel more special. On such days, temperatures can reach 30oC, though not much higher, and the British public make the most of it. People swarm to beaches, sit out in parks and generally revel in the hot temperatures. This is matched by the increased hours of daylight which reach almost 17 hours in London in mid June.

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Autumn (September to November)

     Average Min/Max Temperatures: 17.5oC- 9.5oC

     Average Min/Max Daylight Hours: 10-14 hours

     Average Min/Max Rainfall (mm): 81 mm

Autumn marks the gradual change from summer to winter and is probably the season with the biggest range in weather conditions. Septembers and even Octobers in Britain can often still be summery, recently even recording higher temperatures than August. Equally, Novembers can be very cold, and the UK sometimes even experiences widespread snow fall (like in 2010). In general, it is usually quite wet and windy in autumn though it is so variable that one year after another, autumns can seem like different seasons.