Monday, May 28, 2007

A city that is drier than Sydney or Rome ?

London apparently ! Strange to think on what must be one of the wettest, not to say coldest, bank holiday weekends for quite a while.

In London, at least, it has done very little except rain since Saturday. Of course it is welcome for gardens and farmers as April was very dry.

Anyway for anyone thinking about old stereotypes of the London and British climate, here is what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:

Parts of the United Kingdom are surprisingly dry (contrary to stereotype) - London receives less rain annually than Rome , Sydney or New York. In Eastern England it typically rains on about 1 day in 4 and slightly more in winter.

Rainfall amounts can vary greatly across the United Kingdom and generally the further west and the higher the elevation, the greater the rainfall. The Lake District is one of the wettest places in the UK with an average annual rainfall total that exceeds 2000 mm. The mountains of Wales, Scotland, the Pennines and the moors of the south west are also particularly wet. In contrast, the south, south east, East Anglia, Lincolnshire and the southern Midlands receive less than 700 mm of rain per year.

The counties of Essex and Cambridgeshire are amongst the driest in the British Isles, with an average annual rainfall of around 600 mm (24 inches), although it typically rains on around 90 days per year. In some years rainfall in Essex can be below 450 mm (18 inches) — less than the average annual rainfall in Jerusalem and Beirut. On average the driest part of the UK is that part of south Essex and North Kent closest to the Thames Estuary, which experience a semi-arid climate.

The main reasons for high number of rainy days in the UK are its mid-latitude position, its close proximity to the Atlantic ocean and the warm waters the North Atlantic Drift brings.

Most rainfall in the UK comes from North Atlantic depressions which roll into the UK throughout the year and are particularly frequent and intense in the autumn and winter. They can on occasions bring prolonged periods of heavy rain in the north and flooding is not rare.
Precipitation over the mountains of the north is especially high and are some of the wettest places in Europe with an average annual rainfall exceeding 60 inches (1,500 mm).

No doubt the sun will be shining tomorrow, as I head back to work.................

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