10 Fun Facts About the Weather in Britain (and Why You ALWAYS Need a Raincoat)September 5, 2020 • Get Outdoors
Here’s to the world-famous British weather. Its sudden downpours, Bank-Holiday wash outs and general unpredictability. But what makes it so special?
If there was no British weather, there wouldn’t be Muddy Puddles and that’s why we’re so obsessed with the weather. After all, our waterproof outerwear is designed to prepare your brave explorers for its unreliability. Here are some brilliant fun facts about our climate.
1) Weather talk
More than nine in 10 Brits have talked about the weather in the last six hours. We spend 6 months of our lives talking about it. Let’s face it – weather is our favourite topic. No other nation talks about it as much as we do.
2) British summer
Let’s talk about British summer. We love celebrating its highs and lows and we can’t get enough of those blustery picnics with sandy sandwiches and sudden downpours. Our summers might not be the hottest and the weather is often unpredictable, but what’s better than trekking through mountain streams, playing beach games, wave jumping and ghost stories around the fire on chilly summer evenings?
3) It’s not that rainy
London is one of the driest cities in the UK and it’s not even in the top 10 of the wettest capitals in Europe. British weather is also really mild thanks to the surrounding seas. Temperatures almost never drop below zero and we rarely witness extreme weather events such as hurricanes or severe thunderstorms.
4) Stats, stats and more stats
December 2015 was the wettest calendar month on record for the UK (records date back to 1910), with rainfall at 91 per cent above normal. Funny enough, it was also the warmest December on record. More numbers – it rains for 156.2 days per year in Britain. Glasgow is the UK’s wettest city with an average of 170.3 days of rainfall a year. So which city is the driest? Apparently, it’s Cambridge with “only” 107.5 rainy days a year.
5) It’s raining cats and dogs
Have you ever wondered about the origins of this 17th century idiom? We’re not entirely sure where it comes from. There are a few theories – it might have its roots in Norse mythology or in Jonathan Swift’s satire “Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation”. Another, much less joyful theory says that stray cats and dogs were often found dead floating in the flooded streets after heavy rain.
6) It’s unpredictable
We’re often unable to guess tomorrow’s weather and we never know what to wear. It’s not surprising since we often witness fifty or more different types of weather in one day! A sunny morning, a rainy afternoon and a snowy evening are more likely to happen in Britain than anywhere else. And everything can quickly change from one day to another.
7) April showers in…December
December is the wettest month of the year beating April and its famous April showers. Remember to always kit your little explorers out for a sudden December downpour with a handy kids waterproof jacket.
8) Hottest summer
Summer 2018 was UK’s hottest on record beating the famous 1976 heatwave. The average temperature across the UK was 15.8 °C and “only” 15.7 °C in 1976.
9) Snowy surprise
It doesn’t snow much in the UK compared to other European countries. We get on average 23.7 days of snow a year but much of this snow doesn’t settle (but we still hope for a White Christmas each year). However, some winters (or even summers!) are more surprising than others. The snowiest winter of the twentieth century was 1947. On the 2nd of June 1975, snow showers forced several county cricket matches to be abandoned. We’re simply not prepared for icy and snowy conditions – trains stop running, pipes break, and thousands of flights get cancelled. So much for a mild climate…
10) 100 British words for rain
We’re finishing off with this brilliant list of 100 British words for rain. Have you ever wondered what a smizzle or a bleetzer is? Do you know what “raining forks’tiyunsdown’ards” means? Now you can update your weather vocabulary!