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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

United Kingdom Geography, Climate, and Weather


The UK is an island nation, separated from continental Europe by the English Channel, from Scandinavia by the North Sea, and from neighboring Ireland (including the territory of Northern Ireland) by the Irish Sea. The largest island, Great Britain, is a little more than 900 kilometers (about 600 miles) from north to south, and encompasses England, Scotland, and Wales.
Extensive groups of smaller islands lie off Scotland's north and west coasts, including the rocky and remote Shetlands, Orkneys, and Western Isles. The Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, and the Channel Islands in the English Channel, are semi-autonomous dependencies, while the Isle of Wight, off the southern coast, enjoys the status of a county.

The Atlantic Ocean has a significant effect on Britain's climate. Although the British Isles are as far north in latitude as Labrador in Canada, they have a mild climate throughout the year. This is due to the Gulf Stream, a current of warm water that flows up from the Caribbean past Britain.
Prevailing southwesterly winds moving across this warmer water bring moisture and moderating temperatures to the British Isles. The surrounding waters are moderate with temperatures all year-round, making the UK warmer in winter and cooler in summer than other areas at the same latitude.
Great Britain's western coast tends to be warmer than the eastern coast, and the southern regions tend to be warmer than the northern regions. The annual temperature in the far north of Scotland is 6 C (43 F), and warmer in the southwestern England about 11 C(52 F).
In general, temperatures are ordinarily around 15 C (60 F) in the summer and around 5 C (40 F) in the winter. Temperatures rarely ever exceed 32 C (90 F) or drop below -10 C (14 F) anywhere in the British Isles. In general,when the temperature dips below 0 C (32 F),frost are rare.
Winds blowing off the Atlantic Ocean bring clouds and large amounts of moisture to the British Isles. Average annual precipitation is more than 1000 mm (40 in), varying from the extremes of 5000 mm (196 in) in the western Highlands of Scotland to less than 500 mm (20 in) in the driest parts of East Anglia in England.
The western part of Britain receives much more moisture than the eastern areas. It rains year-round, and in the winter the rain may change to snow, particularly in the north. It snows infrequently in the south, and when it does it is likely to be wet, slushy, and short-lived. Southern Britain has experienced episodes of drought in recent years, although historically these are rare occurrences. Some regard these episodes as indicators of global climatic changes.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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