Whatever else can be claimed for the attractions of London, few would wax lyrical about its weather! On the plus side, this is a city that doesn’t suffer extremes. Whatever the season, it is rarely excessively hot or cold and many visitors find that fantastic. The weather though can be highly unpredictable and will change at short notice, often doing exactly the opposite to what the weather forecasters expected. It is a city famous for rain and grey skies and that’s why many Londoners will keep an umbrella or rain-proof coat to hand when they go out even if the weather seems dry. The equally famous or infamous London Fogs (or Smogs), much loved by Hollywood movies, are now largely a thing of the past having more or less disappeared when London moved away from using coal as its main fuel in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Thames is now a clean river frequented by many fish including salmon and that’s a tribute to almost a half-century of conservation and environment protection measures. Official global air quality measures place London around mid-table when considered against 35 others - behind cities such as Vienna, Stockholm and Amsterdam but ahead of Madrid, Rome and New York.
London has a typically northern Atlantic climate – i.e. a tendency towards being grey, wet and windy. It also sometimes gets hit by much colder air sweeping in from Scandinavia and the plains of Eastern Europe.
Spring is usually a nice season in London when the parks are alive with flowers. Early spring can be wet and frosts or even light snow isn’t that unusual as late as April or May. Temperatures are highly variable though usually mild at around 17-18C max. and high winds are sometimes experienced.
Summer is the least predictable season and as the locals will be quick to tell you, it sometimes forgets to turn up altogether! Temperatures can at times be high and touch 30C+ but more commonly on a good summer’s day will be in the mid-20s. Humidity can be high and most Londoners will make good use of the huge parks to enjoy the good weather. Sunny periods will rarely last for more than a week or so before cloud and rain comes in again for a day or two.
Autumn (fall) is similar to spring but slightly warmer. Rain can be expected fairly regularly but late summers (Indian summers) are fairly commonplace and September and early October can be very nice and more reliable than spring.
Winter rarely brings heavy snow to London but nevertheless it can be cold with temperatures down to freezing point or lower and wind-chill factors can make that feel much lower than it is. Unless you’re lucky, there will be a lot of rain in this season, so if you’re visiting London in winter bring some warm and waterproof clothing with you.
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