England is mostly surrounded by seas. There are Irish Sea and Celtic Sea in the west of England, on south is English Channel and on the east is North Sea. England also shares its shore with Atlantic Ocean. And this mainly this topography causes a temperate maritime climate in England.
Northern latitude and warm Gulf Stream also have influence on England’s climate. On an average England sees maximum temperature of around 21 degree C in summers while minimum temperature usually stays above zero even in winters. However in the history of England’s climate the highest ever recorded temperature was 38.5 degree C in 2003 at Brogdale and the lowest recorded temperature was -26.1 degree C in 1982 at Edgmond. England receives mild to moderate rains throughout the year.
We will mainly focus on weather of London from South East England and Liverpool from North West to get an overall understanding of weather in England. For sea temperatures three sea beaches on three different sea shores are considered. The beaches are Bournemouth Beach in Dorset located on the shore of English Channel at south of England, Filey in Yorkshire located on the shore of North Sea at the North East part of England and Formby in Lancashire on the shore of Irish Sea at the North West part of England.
England sees temperate climate with moderate winter and comfortable summer. Liverpool experiences slightly higher temperatures during winter than London, while London is slightly warmer in summers than Liverpool.
In winters, the minimum temperature in London dips to 1.5 degree C in February and climbs to a maximum of 7.2 degrees in December. The warm city air during winter causes a lot of air frost in London than the coastal cities and this results in lesser sunshine hours in London. See chart.
Spring in London is little cooler than autumn. Maximum temperature during spring is 16.2 degrees (May) whereas in autumn the same is 18.2 degrees (September). In spring the temperature touches its lowest of 3.2 degree in March, while in autumn the lowest temperature in is 4.7 degrees in November.
Summer is the most favourite season of all. However Englishmen often experience rains and clouds during the start of summer that causes disappointment. The highest temperature in London during summer is 21.6 degrees in July and lowest is 10.5 in June. The maximum and minimum temperatures of July and August remain almost same in London.
Liverpool is slightly warmer during winter than London with maximum temperatures hovering above 7 degrees in all three months (December to February), whereas during the same period minimum temperature usually stays just above 2 degrees. Liverpool too witnesses warmer autumn than spring. Maximum spring temperature reaches 15.6 degrees in May and minimum is 3.8 in March. In autumn, temperature is highest in September (around 17.3 degrees), while November sees the minimum temperature of 5.2 degrees C.
Summer in Liverpool is little cooler than London with a maximum temperature of 19.7 degrees in July and minimum 11.1 in June. Like London Liverpool sees almost same maximum and minimum temperatures in July and August. Refer to the weather charts of London and Liverpool below.
England has coasts with five seas. We will look into sea temperatures of three different sea areas in three different parts of England … Dorset, Yorkshire and Lancashire.
English Channel is warmer during winters and spring than North Sea and Irish Sea. During winters & spring the maximum temperature of English Channel ranges between 10 to 13 degrees whereas the minimum temperature varies from 7 to 10. North Sea’s maximum water temperature in winter is 10.4 and in spring is 11.0 degree. Minimum temperature varies from 6 to 8 degrees in winter and spring.
Maximum temperature of Irish Sea in winter & spring ranges from 9 to 12 degrees while the minimum varies from 5 to 9.5 degrees. Summer and autumn see warmer temperatures in all these three seas. The maximum temperature for English Channel during this period climbs to 18.1 degree C in September and the minimum goes down to 10.1 degrees in May. During summer and autumn the maximum in North Sea is usually 17.5 in August and the lowest is 8.6 degrees in May. Irish Sea during this period witnesses steady 17 plus maximum water temperature between July to September while the lowest temperature is 10.8 degrees in November.
Sea Temperature Chart
Bournemouth (Dorset), Filey (Yorkshire) and Formby (Lancashire)
Both London and Liverpool receive moderate to high rainfall throughout the year with lesser rains in summer. From February to August the average rainfall in London is around 55 mm with a highest of 60.3 mm in April. Average rainfall during this period is 10 days a month. September to January receives highest rainfall in London with a maximum of 98.6 mm in October. The average rainfall for these five months is around 82 mm with average 12 rainy days per month.
The rainfall pattern of Liverpool is almost similar to London. From February to July the monthly average rainfall in Liverpool is 59 mm with maximum of 66.2 mm in June and average monthly rainy days of 11. Rainfall in Liverpool increases from August reaching a maximum of 97.3 mm in October. Winter’s maximum rainfall takes place in December (88.8 mm). The monthly average rainfall of Liverpool in winter is around 81 mm with an average of 13.5 days (See the weather charts).
London sees higher relative humidity during winter and autumn with a maximum of 89% in December and 80% during September. Spring and summer experience lesser humidity with maximum of 79% in March and minimum of 70% in June. However these humidity levels are usually quite comfortable due to other climatic conditions.
Liverpool witnesses little higher relative humidity than London which ranges from 80 to 90% throughout the year. The maximum humid months are January and December (90% ) while the minimum humid months are April and May (80%). See charts.
Both London and Liverpool get low Sunshine in winter due to air frost. London experiences a total of 1,480 sunny hours throughout the year with a monthly average of around 123 hours and daily average of almost 4 hours. The maximum sunny month is August with 195 sunny hours and the minimum is December with only 37 sunshine hours. Liverpool gets a little lesser average than London on yearly sunshine hours. The annual total sunshine hours of Liverpool is 1,417 with a monthly average of 118 hours and daily average of nearly 4 hours. Winters in Liverpool sees minimum sunny days with lowest in December with 47 hours of sun. Summer experiences maximum sun, highest in July with 180 hours (see charts).
Both London and Liverpool face gusts of winds. Winters see more wind speed in London with a maximum of 17 KPH in January and minimum in June and August (12 KPH). Liverpool faces more wind speed than London with an average over 20 KPH. The lowest windy month is August (16 KPH) and the highest windy months are January and February (25 KPH).
Records show that Northern and Central part of England have mostly received snowfall or sleets during the period 1981 to 2010. Most of the southern part either never received snow or very little snowfall or sleets.
London Weather Chart
Liverpool Weather Chart
Best Time to Visit England
Due to its temperate climate England can be visited any time of the year. But many find summer to be the best time. To avoid summer rush, spring and autumn could be good options too but autumn receives moderate to high rains. Since the minimum temperature normally does not go below zero degree, winter could be a choice too (however it would be quite cold though). Remember autumn and winter receive moderate to high rainfall.
Although the low temperatures stay around comfortable zone, you require woolens especially a jumper or jacket even during summers because of the wind and sudden changes in climate. Like other European countries carrying an umbrella or rain jacket is a must.
Let’s take a quick look at some weather highlights of London and Liverpool.
- June to September is best with pleasant average temperatures
- July is the warmest month
- January is the coolest month
- October is the dampest month
- July is the driest month
- Spring to autumn is the best time and usually has pleasant weather
- July is the warmest month while January is the coolest
- October is the dampest month and April is the driest.