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Wales and It’s weather

Stormy day in Aberystwyth

You have probably heard the fact that it always rains in Wales. Or if its not raining it will be soon. Everyone in the Britain talks about the weather at some point during the day. The weather is used between people as a greeting, “Hello, awful weather we are having” or “Hi lovely day today” it is the starting point of may conversations between us ‘Brits’

We don’t have extremes of weather like many countries. It never gets too hot or too cold. We have snow but not much and it never lasts long. We have rain but hardly ever torrential downpours and if we do, its unusual enough to get mentioned on the news.

Why do we get the weather we do then?

Well, we are an island off the coast of mainland Europe. We are subjected to winds from all points of the compass. We get wet humid air from the west across the Atlantic ocean. We have cold winds from the north across Arctic ocean. We get dry cold winds during the winter across the vast European continent and Russia, ‘The Beast from the east’. And we get warm dry winds from the south from Africa and it quite often deposits sand from the Sahara on our cars.

We are also subject to the Gulf Stream that surrounds the United Kingdom and keeps us from freezing. This travels up from the Caribbean and as a result we in Wales enjoy a relatively mild climate. I live at almost the same latitude as Edmonton in Canada where in January the temperature varies between -13 degrees C to -5 degrees C. Where here we average between +2 to +8 degrees C. That is all down to the gulf stream flowing around our little island.

Windy day in Aberystwyth

Where do you get most of our weather from?

We are subjected to wet warm winds off the Atlantic ocean most of the time. You only have to travel along the west coast of Wales and look at the trees that have grown up leaning over to the east due to the constant wind blowing from the sea.

Wales is a mountainous area. we have the Preselli hills in the south west. The Brecon beacons and the Black mountains in the south east. The Cambrian mountains in the Mid Wales region and then the Snowdonia range in the north.

These mountains force the moisture laden prevailing winds to rise up as they encounter the land and in doing so cool down and it rains. Our mountains have been shaped by these rains that have fallen for millions of years on this land. We are a land of rivers and streams, a land of lakes and pools. We are blessed with a green and pleasant land, all due to the weather.

How predictable is the weather in Wales?

Well its not really predictable. We watch the weather forecast and treat it with a pinch of salt most of the time. We are subjected to freak weather anomalies, warm winters, snow in June, heavy rain showers followed by glorious sunshine, in fact the more sunshine we have and the hotter it gets the more thunderstorms we have. In fact these intense thunderstorms have caused great damage in some locations where a mile down the road its been completely dry.

A nice calm day in Aberystwyth

So as a visitor how do you cope?

Well, expect the unexpected. I would always pack a lightweight waterproof jacket. Nothing too heavy you can always drink tea and coffee while you wait for the rain to stop. Pack different layers that you can put on and take off, and don’t forget your sun cream, we do see the sun sometimes.

We always say there is no bad weather just bad choice of clothing

Whatever the weather in Wales you will always receive a welcome, there is plenty to do and see in all weathers, the mountains are brilliant in the sunshine and moody and mysterious in the rain and swirling mists. Don’t forget to visit out temperate Celtic rainforests that are so full of life as a direct result of the weather we do have.

Don’t let the talk of weather put you off visiting this wonderful land. you will be amazed at what it has to offer.

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