Unit 7.1



Physical geography: Climates

General knowledge

Seasons

  • The United Kingdom lays in temperate oceanic climate. Because of the close jet stream, it is normal for the weather to change often. The climate in the UK has four seasons:
    • Spring:
      • Begins in March and ends in May.
      • Usually, it is a calm and cool season, in March there still can be snow.
      • In March temperatures are low but they are getting higher as time pass by. In spring difference between day and night, temperatures are usually high.
    • Summer: 
      • Last from June to August.
      • It is the warmest part of the year. Temperatures are the highest in southern and central areas.
      • Heatwaves and droughts may occasionally appear.
    • Autumn:
      • Starts in September and ends in November.
      • It has a very unpredictable weather pattern.
      • Temperatures are becoming lower with the passing months, snow may appear at the end of October and in November.
      • It is the stormiest season. Hurricane winds can be recorded especially in western areas.
      • “Indian summer” may occur when temperatures, especially during the night, do not fall below 10°C.
    • Winter:
      • Last from December to February.
      • It is generally cool, wet, windy, and cloudy.
      • Temperatures at night usually do not drop below -10°C.
      • In most regions snow is frequent in winter but usually doesn’t last long. Snowfalls mainly hit the northern and eastern areas.
  • Absence of climatic phenomena like the sun in some latitudes:
    • In January the sun rises after 8 am and sets around 4 pm, in summer the sun start to rise just before 5 am and sets after 9 pm.
    • The shortest day is on the 21 of December. The day lasts only 7 h 49 min. The longest day is on June 20. This day is longer for 8 h 49 min than on the 21 of December.
    • The United Kingdom does not experience the phenomenon of the polar night when the sun does not rise above the horizon.

Images associated with winter in the United Kingdom:

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Different Climates throughout the United Kingdom.

  • England:
    • In winter temperatures do not vary that much, from 3/4°C to 6°C in the far south.
    • It is sunnier throughout the year than the other parts of the country.
    • Southern England is the area most subject to heatwaves.
    • Gales are less common but strong winds can still occur.
    • South-west is the main direction of the wind.
    • Rainfall can reach around 1000 mm in the south-west.
  • Scotland:
    • The climate here is mostly temperate and oceanic.
    • Weather is very changeable but not extreme.
    • Scotland is the windiest country in Europe.
    • Is the coolest part of the United Kingdom, mostly because of the Highlands area and Northern Islands.
    • Central Lowlands are the warmest part of Scotland during summer.
    • Most months are usually wetter than in other parts of the UK. The Western Highlands of Scotland is one of the wettest places in Europe.
  • Wales:
    • The coasts are mild, while the inland areas are colder and can experience heavy snowfalls in winter.
    • In summer, the temperature rarely reaches 30°C.
    • In winter usually temperature does not drop below -5/-6°C on coasts but it can be lower in inland.
    • The south-western coast receives more rainfall than the rest of the coast. It surpasses 1500 mm here while the rest of coast has rainfall around 850 to 1000 mm.
  • Northern Ireland:
    • Has quite cold, rainy winters and mild, relatively rainy summers.
    • Days with clear skies are rare.
    • The wind is frequent. The strongest winds blow between autumn and the beginning of spring.
    • It rains often but not in big amounts.
    • Average high temperatures are around 19°C.

Use of Thermometer Scales

  • The United Kingdom uses Celsius scale to determine temperature.
    • The boiling point of water is set at 100°C;
    • The freezing point of water is set at 0°C;
    • Celsius to Fahrenheit formula: F = C × 1.8 + 32;
    • Fahrenheit to Celsius formula: C = ( F – 32) / 1.8.

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