These regional climates summarise the characteristics of the climate of 11 regions of the UK. Their aim is to describe the main features of each region's climate and they should not be considered as a comprehensive review of all aspects of a region's climate or weather event history.
Their focus is on the latest 30 year averaging period of 1971-2000 and most of the commentary refers to events during this period and since. However, the effects of climate change, both natural and man-made, may need to be borne in mind for any data applications. Analyses are provided of the main weather elements - temperature, sunshine, rainfall, snowfall and wind.
The UK is well known for the variability of its weather - from day to day, season to season, year to year and place to place. Its position in the mid-latitude westerly wind belt on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean with its relatively warm waters, yet close to the continental influences of mainland Europe, plays a major role in this. Changes in topography and land use over relatively short distances, together with a long coastline and numerous islands, all add to the variety of weather.
In general, places in the east and south of the UK tend to be drier, warmer, sunnier and less windy than those further west and north. Also, these favourable weather conditions usually occur more often in the spring and summer than in autumn and winter. But that is by no means the whole story, and these climate descriptions illustrate the all-important regional and seasonal variations.
Last updated: 17 December 2013