Atmosphere And Weather

The Predictability of the British Climate



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"The Predictability of the British Climate"
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For such a small island Great Britain has an extremely diverse climate. The sun comes up a lot later in the north than in the south: it can be fine in one place and just a few miles away, literally, it can be snowing a full blizzard.

Once last year, two football matches (soccer to the Americans), were being played in our area, only 8 miles apart, yet a diagonal cloud drifted across the land and stopped both matches dead with a heavy snowfall, and whilst this was going on, my home town a few miles north was dry, not a spot of rain, never mind snow.

The various mountains and hills on this island have an effect as far as weather is concerned. There are lots of mountains in Wales, the Pennines up the spine of England, the Cheviots, the Grampians, and many more up in the north, in Scotland. Then there are the lowlands of England which tend to be mainly on the east coast,in ancient times marshy and sandy land filled with water, peat, and quicksand. The only way to travel over it was on wooden roads, and the slightly higher land groups were where the communities lived. Today the land has been reclaimed but as with the recent floods many areas were soon swamped, especially as these are the areas which have been built upon the most, leaving very little land in its natural state to drain away the surface water. And this government wants to build more houses on these "flood plains". Incredible!

In between the densely populated sectors there is wonderful green countryside. Trees, mountains, farms, lakes, and wildlife galore. Even in the towns and villages we have lots of trees, bushes, plants of every hue and form, but this encourages more rain and other weather to fall. The tall trees act like the hills, enticing the clouds to drop their water, sometimes in just a minute spray. This type of rain is difficult to deal with as it penetrates into the skin, affecting body temperature and making the clothes worn extremely wet.

The air in the British sunshine can be dry or moist, warm or cold, fresh or humid. Every conceivable form of rain,sunshine, temperature, atmospheric pressure, cold, heat, snow, hailstone, at any time of the year, is feasible on this small island, and you only have to go a few miles and the weather will be different. No wonder people tend to look up at the sky to see what the weather in their own small area is going to be.

I have seen the rain fall on one side of the street whilst other side is dry, and the sun can be beating down whilst the rain is also pouring, leaving you wonder what you should be wearing today, and will the weather still be like this when you come home?

One day, it was truly horrendous rain, difficult to wrap up against, and windy to boot, yet by the evening it was scorching hot, coats were being held in the arms as they were too warm to wear, and sweat poured down your back causing your warm fully sleeved shirt to stick to you.

One year there was bright sunshine all over the island except one small part, my home county, which was covered in fog and drizzle for days. Those with cars were able to escape the wet weather by journeying just a few miles, but for me and others like me who do not have cars we were stuck with the misery whilst listening on the radio to others areas complaining about the heat!

No wonder the British people are always talking about the weather. It is so contrary.

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