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The Climate of Great Britain
Great Britain is situated on islands. It is washed by seas
from all sides. That's why the climate and the nature of Great
Britain is very specific. The popular belief that it rains all the
time in Britain is simply not true. In fact, London gets no
more rain in a year than most other major European cities.
Generally speaking, the further west you go, the more rain you
get. The mild winters mean that snow is a regular feature of
the higher areas only. The winters are in general a bit colder
in the east of the country than they are in the west. While in
summer, the south is slightly warmer and sunnier than the
north. Besides Britain is famous for its fogs. Sometimes
fogs are so thick that it is impossible to see anything within 2
or 3 metres.
Why has Britain's climate got such a bad reputation? Maybe
it is for the same reason that British people always seem to be
talking about the weather. There is a saying that Britain
doesn't have a climate, it only has weather. You can never be
sure of a fry day, though it may not rain very much altogether.
There can be cool and even cold days in July and some quite
warm days in January. The weather changes very often.
Mark Twain said about America: "If you don't like the weather
in New England, just wait a few minutes" but it is more likely
to have been said about England.
The lack of extremes is the reason why on the few occasions when it gets genuinely hot or freezing cold, the country seems to be totally unprepared for it. A bit of snow, a few days of frost and the trains stop working and the roads are blocked. If the thermometer goes above 27°C, people behave as if they were in the Sahara and the temperature makes front-page headlines. These things happen so seldom that it is not worth organizing life to be ready for them. Everyone who comes to Great Britain says that it looks like one great beautiful park. The British people love their country and take care of it.
1. Why is the climate and the nature of Great Britain very
2. What is Britain famous for?
3. Why has Britain's climate got such a bad reputation?
4. The weather in Britain is very changeable, isn't it?
5. Does it rain often?
The Climate of Great Britain(2)
Tre common ideas people have about the weather in Britain
are: "It rains all the time, it's very damp"; "There's a terrible
fog in London, just like in Sherlok Holmes'...", "The sun
never shines in July or August".
Britain has a variable climate. The weather changes so
frequently that it is difficult to forcast. It is not unusual for
people to complain that the weathermen were wrong. Fortunately,
as Britain does not experience extreme weather conditions, it
is never very cold or very hot. The temperature rarely rises
above 32°C (DOT) in summer, or falls below 10°C (14°F) in
Summers are generally cool, but due to global warming
they are starting drier and hotter. Newspapers during a hot
spell talk of "heatwaves" and an "Indian summer" (dry, hot
weather in September and October). Hot weather causes terrible
congestion on the roads as Britons rush to the coastal resorts.
Winters are generally mild, with the most frequent and
prolonged snowfalls in the Scottish Highlands, where it is
possible to go skiing. If it does snow heavily in other parts
of Britain, the country often comes to a standstill. Trains,
buses and planes are late. People enjoy discussing the snow,
complaining about the cold and comparing the weather
conditions with previous winters.
The Climate of Great Britain(3)
Due to the geographic location of Great Britain the type of
the climate is oceanic. There are no extreme contrasts in
temperature in Britain because of the current of warm water
flowing from the Gulf of Mexico called the Gulf Stream.
Average British temperatures do not rise above 32°C in
summer and do not fall below -10°C in winter.
The prevailing winds from the ocean to the south-west
bring rainfall throughout the year. The total national rainfall
average is over 1100 mm annually. March to June tend to be
a driest months, September to January the wettest.
The fogs of London, often made severe by mixture with city
smoke, have worldwide reputation.
The rivers of the Great Britain are abundant, and they
never freeze. The main rivers are the Thames, the Tyne, the
Severn, the Mersey; the biggest lakes are the Loch Lomond,
the Lough Neagh. A considerable area of land is covered by
meadows and heaths. The grass remains green all the year
round. Thanks to climate conditions, Britain in truth looks
like one great well-ordered park with its old trees, green
meadows and hedges.
1. What kind of climate does Great Britain have?
2. Are there extreme contrasts in temperature? Why?
3. What are the average temperatures?
4. What are the driest (the wettest) months?
5. What are the main rivers and lakes?