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Is the British weather unique in the world? (BBC)


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Posted
  • Location: Stanwell(south side of Heathrow Ap)
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms, squally fronts, snow, frost, very mild if no snow or frost
  • Location: Stanwell(south side of Heathrow Ap)

    By Denise Winterman BBC News Magazine

     

    It's often said by laymen that the UK's weather is unique. But what makes it so different from anywhere else?

     

    Whatever you think of the British weather, if you don't like it one day there's always a good chance you might like it the next.

    Weather, in meteorological terms, refers to the daily elements like temperature, wind and rain. And in Britain they can all change hour by hour and day by day.

    It's this diversity and changeability that makes British weather so distinct, say meteorologists. While temperatures are fairly mild and there are four distinct seasons, you can also get warm weather in the middle of February and freezing rain in the middle of August - or both in one day.

    "Other countries might have more dramatic weather," says Dr Liz Bentley, head of the Weather Club at the Royal Meteorological Society. "In India and Pakistan you get monsoon season, but you can usually predict the day it will start and the day it will finish.

    "In the UK you sometimes have to look at the weather forecast several times in one morning just to plan a trip out that afternoon. Things can change that quickly."

    Many meteorologists call the British weather unique, although some say you could argue the weather in all countries is unique because no two are the same geographically and geologically. But they agree it is hard to find another country in the world with weather that compares to the UK.

    So what makes it so distinctly variable?

    "Britain's unique weather is all down to the fact it is an island and where it's positioned on the planet, between the Atlantic Ocean and a large land mass, continental Europe," says Helen Chivers from the Met Office. "There is a lot going on meteorologically where we are."

    Britain is under an area where five main air masses meet. An air mass is a large body of air that has similar temperature and moisture properties throughout.

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    In the UK they are either polar or tropical, depending on where the air mass originated; they are also divided into maritime or continental, depending on whether the air has passed over land or sea.

    They come from all directions and can bring all types of weather.

    When they meet it creates a weather front. The air masses fight it out and the one that wins dictates the weather. The bigger the difference the worse the weather can be. There is a sixth air mass, the returning Polar Maritime, which is a variation of the Polar Maritime.

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24305230 - link

     

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    Edited by ElectricSnowStorm
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    Posted
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France
  • Weather Preferences: Continental type climate with lots of sunshine with occasional storm
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France

    I would say yes and no - there are many areas of the world which have the mix of continental/maritime/polar and equatorial influences, say Vancouver, Iceland, and Tasmania just to quote a few examples so they end up with changeable weather just as we do but there are none with exactly the same geography so there would be differences dictated by the local conditions.

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    Posted
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine and 15-25c
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)

    I would say yes and no - there are many areas of the world which have the mix of continental/maritime/polar and equatorial influences, say Vancouver, Iceland, and Tasmania just to quote a few examples so they end up with changeable weather just as we do but there are none with exactly the same geography so there would be differences dictated by the local conditions.

    i would not class Iceland or Tasmania as similar to the UK...for example Iceland does not or has not suffered from prolonged hot sunny weather and drought and neither has Tasmania suffered prolonged spells of cold and snow. I would wager that Vancouver summer weather is a lot more predictable than the UK summer weather...summers there tend to be much drier sunnier and warmer on average than the UK

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