Please sign in to post.

Least rainy part of England?

Southeast along the coast probably? Does England have high enough mountain ranges to create rain shadows drier than areas farther from the center of the normal storm track (ie the se coast)?

Thanks bundles!

Posted by
1464 posts

England has a Marine Climate just like Western Washington; I'm not a native so maybe they might know a secret spot! Let's find out!

Posted by
5034 posts

I hate to be that person, but Wiki gives that distinction to East Anglia

Posted by
1852 posts

I hate to be that person, but Wiki gives that distinction to East
Anglia

If you did, you wouldn't? ;)

Really though, of course I could research it, but if I ask here I'll probably learn some things deeper and more interesting, more useful probably.

Posted by
1852 posts

England has a Marine Climate just like Western Washington; I'm not a
native so maybe they might know a secret spot! Let's find out!

Wetter even in most parts, yes? I wonder if they have a Sequim, or other such banana belt. Or anything like east of the Cascades, as in profoundly rain shadowed. I doubt it, but yes, let find out!

Posted by
6619 posts

They're all asleep now, or staggering home from pubs. Should we try to wake them early?

Posted by
792 posts

I'm this side of the Atlantic, but I feel unqualified to speak with any authority on the subject at hand :-)

Is London being rainy still how people from North America think of it? There can be weeks in a row with no rain at all in the summertime. I lived in west central Scotland most of my life and London is very dry in comparison. Sideways rain in June or July is nothing out of the ordinary in western Scotland and unknown down here in the south east.

Posted by
687 posts

Is London being rainy still how people from North America think of it?

No. London wouldn't rank very high compared to US cities. Locally in my little corner of Virginia it's 48 inches of precipitation over 116 days yearly, London is 28 inches of precipitation over 160 days. Recently returned from the UK. It rained 10 out of 14 days, most of which it wasn't worth getting the rain jacket out.

Posted by
6427 posts

England has a Marine Climate just like Western Washington

I disagree, the west of England is like Western Washington. But not the east or the south. We may not have the huge extremes of multiple climates that WA has but have multiple regional climates. If we had mountains in the middle that rose to 14,000 feet like WA rather than 3,000 feet then we might have such extremes of climate.

I'm not sure we have a Sequim where bananas can be grown, but generally Kent and East Anglia are known for their fruit growing. And in significant parts of the south there are wineries- I am not really a wine drinker but it is supposed to be good quality wine. And improving year on year with climate change.

Cornwall is your Skagit Valley in terms of the spring flower growing, albeit without the history of Dutch settlement which led to the tulips in the Skagit, and there aren't the festivals like in Skagit- it is a commercial thing.

Where the Dutch came in was the building of the great drainage systems- rivers and dykes- in East Anglia and the Fen Country. Land reclamation on a grand scale to produce fertile farmland. (Vermuyden and his like).

Where I live in the Western lake district, we get 30 to 40 inches of rain a year. Travel 30 miles east and that multiplies by 5 or 6 times as the weather systems rise over the mountains, then the other side of the mountains is far drier as the rain has been dropped.

Which is why there are so many seaside resorts on the Yorkshire coast, then into Lincolnshire and down into East Anglia.

The same effect, but less severe, as driving any of the cross state highways in WA.

The rainfall stats over the whole UK range from about 20 inches to about 200 inches.

Cornwall, Devon and much of the south coast get very high sunshine totals, which effectively means low summer rainfall.

By the way the Lake District does have ski clubs which set up runs (even with tows) when we have a good winter. But with climate change and 3,000 feet mountains we could never have established ski centres.

Large parts of the south and south east are struggling with water supply issues.

Posted by
1971 posts

England have high enough mountain ranges to create rain shadows drier than areas

Yes - Have a look at the railnfall distribution map here.

In very simple terms, weather fronts come in from the west across the Atlantic and drop their rain. The west side of the country is traditionally a lot wetter than the east. The heaviest rainfal is over the hills/mountains as can be seen in the map. I live in Lincolnshire which is traditionally one of the driest parts of the country - not that you would think so this year...

Posted by
455 posts

isn31c: I'm not sure we have a Sequim where bananas can be grown...

We don't either--Sequim is a town on the north end of the Olympic Peninsula, across the strait from Canada, that sits in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, and thus gets less rain, and has a sunnier reputation, than the rest of the Peninsula. "Banana Belt " is just an expression implying a drier climate, but not a tropical paradise of fruit-growing. They do have a good lavender and berry harvest though.

Posted by
5355 posts

St Osyth, a village of 4,000 near Clacton was identified a few years ago as the driest place in England with an average rainfall of 513mm.

The South Coast around Bognor Regis is the sunniest though.

Posted by
1852 posts

This is all super helpful. Thank you all very much.

The maps are great.

I'm trying to figure out if I should cycle tour in England in the springtime or not. I'd like to bring my gravel bike and ride some of the better established gravel tour tracks. I've really been meaning to get on my bike in England, after having done so much riding on the continent, but I feel like my window is going to be in a wetter time of year than the optimal high summer.

I need to think about it. Maybe I'm better off going somewhere closer to the Mediterranean, Provence maybe, Italy maybe, and saving England/UK for when I can get there in summer.

Posted by
76 posts

As already said, the west is wetter than the east. I can drive from NW england in rain, over the Pennine hills and it can be drier and sunnier when I drop down into Yorkshire, barely 60 miles.
East Anglia is supposed to be the driest area.
Last year in a heatwave I visited the South East and the grass was bleached yellow by the heat and lack of rain. Back home 250 miles away, everything was noticeably greener despite the fact we had had days of 30C temperatures, we had occasional showers to keep things watered.
In England, you just can't guarantee the weather. It could be glorious, it could be terrible.

Posted by
546 posts

saving England/UK for when I can get there in summer.

Don’t assume that the summer will be dry. It might be, but it might also be wet. Or both wet and dry. Sometimes we get a lovely warm dry spell in April or May followed by heavy rain in the summer. There’s a reason British people talk about the weather so much.

Posted by
1852 posts

Sometimes we get a lovely warm dry spell in April or May followed by
heavy rain in the summer.

Yeah that's definitely where the analogy to Seattle breaks down. After the July 4th through the end of August we can be nearly certain of no precipitation. The North Pacific really quiets down in the height of summer. Apparently not so for the North Atlantic.

Good advice. I appreciate it.

Posted by
1971 posts

It's a bit of a standing joke here that when schools break up it begins to rain, only stopping when they start back again....

Posted by
546 posts

It's a bit of a standing joke here that when schools break up it begins to rain, only stopping when they start back again....

That definitely happened this year, didn’t it? Some lovely (if too hot) weather in June and early July, then when the schools broke up in late July we began several weeks of unsettled and largely wet weather, as far as I remember.

Posted by
1852 posts

I experienced last summer's rainy stretch bike touring Brittany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Good weather as my trip approached, day after day soaked to the skin, and then good weather a few days after departure.

Such is life.

In Seattle one of the clearest times year is late April into early May. The big north Pacific weather systems have ramped down, but its not warm enough yet for the more local marine layer cycle to ramp up. My daughter was born in the first week of May, and we did 7 or 8 outdoor birthday parties. Not one of them shut down by weather, nearly all highly pleasant days.

I wonder if Britain has a similar late spring window between winter and summer patterns? Maybe not ....

Posted by
546 posts

I wonder if Britain has a similar late spring window between winter and summer patterns? Maybe not ....

As we’ve all been saying in our different ways, Hank, there is no predictable British weather in terms of rain in particular. We’re a small island sandwiched between a huge ocean and a large landmass, where several different weather systems converge.

Yeah, the East tends to be drier. The SW tends to have milder winters. But the word is “tends”: predicting when in the year you might get a dry spell is a mug’s game.

Posted by
1302 posts

It’s true we don’t have a banana belt but in Yorkshire we do have a rhubarb triangle…..

Posted by
1852 posts

As we’ve all been saying in our different ways, Hank, there is no
predictable British weather in terms of rain in particular. We’re a
small island sandwiched between a huge ocean and a large landmass,
where several different weather systems converge.

Yeah, the East tends to be drier. The SW tends to have milder winters.
But the word is “tends”: predicting when in the year you might get a
dry spell is a mug’s game.

Thanks, I do follow this. The PNW is similar. You can't reliably predict weather when planning.

But I'll lightly disagree in that there are overall trends, one can shoot for a better chance of not getting rain based on historical averages. Even if reliability is low, one can still maximize chances.

https://weatherspark.com/m/45062/5/Average-Weather-in-May-in-London-United-Kingdom#Figures-Temperature

For instance, scroll down to the chart showing probability of precipitation on any given day in London. On May 1st the average is 20% of days. By May 31st it has risen steadily to 27%. I'll take my chances on the 1 in 5 time of year over the more than 1 in 4 time of year.

Or next chart down, moving monthly average total precipitation; May 1st 1.3 inches, May 6th 1.6. Not a lot of difference there, but over time one has a bit better probability of being less wet in early May than late May.

I know that the weather can do just about anything at any time in your region, but in my mind, if coming from half way around the world, it's worth maximizing the chance that weather tilts in your favor. No guarantees to be sure.

From everything I'm scanning last week of April first week of May look like best chances of tolerably cool and hopefully not too rainy. Only time of year that is about as good as high summer in terms of rain chances. Best laid plans etc, but I'll still at least try!

Posted by
1852 posts

It’s true we don’t have a banana belt but in Yorkshire we do have a
rhubarb triangle…..

I looked this up, quite interesting! Forced rhubarb was a lot of work! Much poo of various types and coal involved in making a better rhubarb. Who knew?! :)

Posted by
546 posts

Hank, I bow to your superior knowledge of weather. Have a great trip. Bring rainwear.

Posted by
1852 posts

Out of curiosity, looked at many other western European locations, and the smallish mid-to-late April rainy day dip holds true for basically (and very approximately) everywhere north of the Belgian border. Look at Berlin (quite dramatic trend) and Amsterdam on weatherspark for instance.

But farther south late April early May is a mild to mid strength rainy day peak time. Look at Toulouse, Bilbao.

I know the general vibe is you can't predict the weather, but if I'm playing Russian roulette I'll take 5 chambers over 4 :)

Posted by
546 posts

Don't paint me into having asserted that I know better. I didn't.

That wasn’t what I meant. I meant that if you want to study the averages and reach some conclusions, then that’s great. I wouldn’t have the patience to do that. Clearly you’re an enthusiastic scientist of weather. I’m not.

Posted by
792 posts

It's an interesting intellectual exercise, but ultimately futile in my very humble opinion.

My pencil sketch of the weather in spring, based on being someone who has lived in the UK, rather than hard evidence, would be something like the following. If you're spending hours per day out on your bike and it really matters, your stats are far more reliable.

Stick to the south. South east England is going to be fine. Nothing to worry about. South west might get some weather at the coast.

Once you get up to Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria it's going to be a bit less predictable and any weather that does come across could potentially be more severe.

West coast of Scotland can get weather off the Atlantic at pretty much any time of the year and spring is a time of "four seasons in one day". Expect the unexpected. East of Scotland is potentially quieter and drier.

Posted by
6427 posts

It's not forced rhubarb was a lot of work, it still is. Forced Rhubarb is still a big business in it's 'triangle' where it has always been grown.

I do dislike generalisations of "Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire could be worse." That depends very much on your local area in each county. The Cumbrian fells COULD still be snow capped, but in the foothills (even in Keswick) and on the coast it can be tee shirt weather on the same day.

And there is loads of cycling on the coast of Cumbria as well as the cross county/cross country ones.

This is tantamount to mis-use of statistics. Nor are we taking into account the undeniable effects of global warming.

Posted by
1852 posts

That wasn’t what I meant. I meant that if you want to study the
averages and reach some conclusions, then that’s great. I wouldn’t
have the patience to do that. Clearly you’re an enthusiastic scientist
of weather. I’m not.

Ah my bad then, sorry for calling you out! 💐

I'll delete that reply.

Posted by
1852 posts

It's also been interesting looking at spring rain totals monthly in SE England compared to many other places in Europe. Often lower by a good amount. My concept has gone from wet and boggy to relatively a drier spot in the map.

Posted by
792 posts

The south east is, to add another sweeping generalisation to the list, much flatter than other places too. Depends on how much hills bother you. With hills also comes prettier scenery, as you go up to The Lakes and other parts of Cumbria, as isn31c mentioned above.

Posted by
233 posts

South West Lincolnshire, Rutland and North Norfolk is a dry part of England and good areas for cycling too with lots of interesting places. However, the UK is a group of islands in the North Atlantic and it rains.