Climate and monthly weather forecast
United Kingdom

Flag of United Kingdom
Flag of United Kingdom

The climate of the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has a predominantly oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb). Much of Scotland has a subpolar oceanic (Köppen Cfc) climate along with the interior uplands of the rest of the United Kingdom. Scottish highlands have a continental subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc), and mountains experience tundra climate (Köppen ET). The United Kingdom lies off the northwestern coast of continental Europe and includes England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and many small islands. The Atlantic Ocean surrounds the United Kingdom to a large extent, with the North Sea, the English Channel, and the Celtic Sea to the east, south, and southwest, respectively. The Atlantic Ocean and temperate latitudes have a significant influence on the climate of the region.

The United Kingdom lies in the high latitudes between 49°N and 61°N and has a massive coastline of 11,073 miles. Much of England has a flat terrain, with the highest point at 978 meters on Scafell Pike. The Thames, Humber, and Severn are the major rivers of England. Scotland has a mainly mountainous topography in its north and west, and lowlands in the south and east. Ben Nevis is the highest point in Scotland and the British Isles at 1345 meters. Wales is mountainous in the north, which has the highest peak of Snowdon at 1085 meters. The Irish Sea and North Channel separate the mostly hilly Northern Ireland from the island of Great Britain. Slieve Donard is the highest peak at 852 meters in Northern Ireland. Lake Lough Neagh is the largest lake in the British Isles with an area of 150 square miles.

The best time to visit United Kingdom

The best time to visit the United Kingdom is during the warm summer season from June to August. June is an excellent month across Great Britain, with less rain and a cool atmosphere. The country is in full bloom, and there are frequent sunny periods along with cloudy ones. July and August are pleasantly warm in the mid-summer season in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Atlantic Ocean is cold, with average sea temperatures at 12.8°C in Scotland and 17.2°C in the English Channel. The second half of May also has fair weather in the central and southern regions.

The worst time to visit United Kingdom

The worst time to visit the United Kingdom, if there is any, is during the cold winter season. The skies are gray and often cloudy from December to February, and the daylight lasts for only a few hours. The low temperatures occasionally drop below the freezing mark, with periods of snow and frost. Scotland and the highlands need layered clothing, with gloves, a hat, and a scarf. The early part of winter sees gusts of wind that blow at speeds above 80.5km/h on the western coasts. Ski-lovers love the winter and take advantage of the heavy snow in the mountains.

Spring weather in the United Kingdom

Spring in the United Kingdom is cool and calm. Early spring may present freezing temperatures, even experiencing some of the winter's coldest spells. Snow in the early season is not uncommon, giving way to gradually warming temperatures as the season progresses. Rainfall is less frequent than in other seasons, and the temperatures range from slightly above freezing to 15°C. Foggy nights can be standard in the interior during this season.

Summer weather in the United Kingdom

The summer season in the United Kingdom is characterized by warm weather in Scotland and Northern Ireland and hot conditions in southern England. Temperatures above 27.2°C are common and may reach above 30°C in London and southeast England. Rainfall tends to be lower than in other seasons, with longer periods of sunshine and more stable weather patterns. The Atlantic Ocean maintains a cold temperature, offering a refreshing contrast to the warmer air.

Autumn weather in the United Kingdom

Autumn in the United Kingdom frequently brings unsettled weather due to the mixing of cold and warm air masses. An Indian Summer may extend the summer-like conditions into September. Precipitation increases, particularly during the autumn and winter seasons, and winds become more pronounced. Temperatures begin to decline, ranging typically from 8°C to 18°C, with the approach of winter adding a chill to the air.

Winter weather in the United Kingdom

Winter is cold and wet in the United Kingdom. Cloudy skies, windy conditions, and light snowfall characterize the season, except for significant snow in areas like the Scottish Highlands and the Pennines. Temperatures remain mostly between -10°C to 15°C, with the Atlantic Ocean waters at their coldest. The western shores experience more wind and rain compared to the eastern coasts, and foggy nights are common in the interior. Ski enthusiasts find this the perfect season for taking advantage of the heavy snow in the mountains.

Weather in January

January in the United Kingdom is typically the coldest month of the year. It brings freezing temperatures, particularly in the interior uplands and the Scottish highlands, where subpolar oceanic and continental subarctic climates prevail. Weather in January »

Weather in February

February continues the cold trend of January in the United Kingdom but often sees slightly milder temperatures. While still within the firm grip of winter, the month usually experiences shorter cold spells compared to January. In Scotland, the subpolar oceanic climate of much of the region continues to experience snowfall, particularly in the highlands, though it is generally less significant than in the previous month. Weather in February »

Weather in March

March in the United Kingdom represents the onset of spring, though weather conditions often continue to be cool and unsettled. The transition from winter to spring can be slow, and freezing temperatures are not uncommon at the beginning of the month, particularly in the inland and northern areas. In Scotland, the subpolar oceanic climate persists, and snow is still a possibility in the highlands. Weather in March »

Weather in April

April marks a more evident transition into spring across the United Kingdom. While the weather continues to be variable, there's a noticeable increase in temperatures, and the likelihood of frost diminishes. Scotland's weather in April sees further warming, especially in the lowlands, with temperatures typically ranging from 3°C to 11°C. Weather in April »

Weather in May

May is a month where spring is in full swing across the United Kingdom. The temperatures continue to rise, and the weather generally becomes more settled, providing a pleasant prelude to the upcoming summer. In Scotland, May often enjoys relatively dry and mild conditions. Weather in May »

Weather in June

June ushers in the beginning of the summer season in the United Kingdom, bringing warmer temperatures and extended daylight hours. This month offers some of the most pleasant and balanced weather across the country. In Scotland, the weather continues to improve, with temperatures ranging from 9°C to 17°C in cities such as Glasgow. Weather in June »

Weather in July

July is typically the hottest and one of the driest months in the United Kingdom, heralding the peak of the summer season. The pleasant weather conditions make it an optimal time for outdoor activities and travel across the country. In Scotland, temperatures continue to rise, generally ranging from 11°C to 18°C. Weather in July »

Weather in August

August continues the warmth of summer in the United Kingdom, with temperatures remaining pleasant, although slightly cooler compared to July. This month still provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities, festivals, and enjoying the natural beauty of the country. In Scotland, August brings mild temperatures, ranging from 10°C to 17°C. Weather in August »

Weather in September

September marks the transition from summer to autumn in the United Kingdom, characterized by a gradual decrease in temperatures and increased chances of rain. The weather remains pleasant, with lingering warmth, especially in the early part of the month, but notable changes emerge as autumn approaches. In Scotland, temperatures cool down, ranging from 8°C to 15°C. Weather in September »

Weather in October

October ushers in the heart of autumn in the United Kingdom, with notable changes in weather conditions. Temperatures continue to decrease, and rain becomes more frequent, particularly in western regions. The month, however, still offers opportunities to experience the vibrant fall foliage and engage in seasonal outdoor activities. Scotland sees cooler temperatures, ranging from 6°C to 12°C. Weather in October »

Weather in November

November is a transitional month in the United Kingdom, leading into the winter season. Temperatures continue to drop, rainfall becomes more frequent, and the landscape takes on a more subdued palette as the last of the autumn leaves fall. In Scotland, temperatures range from 2°C to 8°C. Weather in November »

Weather in December

December marks the beginning of the winter season in the United Kingdom, with temperatures continuing to drop and the likelihood of snow and frost increasing, particularly in northern and inland areas. Scotland's temperatures range from -1°C to 5°C, with the Highlands often experiencing sub-zero conditions. Weather in December »

United Kingdom

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