Friday, June 1, 2012

Weather in London

Honestly, if I could change one thing about this country, it would probably be the weather. Having lived through 2 winters here, I have discovered that I have seasonal depression. And unfortunately, that seasonal depression can hit at any time, because the weather here is rarely "good".
Last year, we had three warm weeks that I remember: one in April, one in June and this photo was from October

Do you think I'm exaggerating? Well, according to this (and I read it in other places, too), London gets 1461 hours of sunlight a year. That would be, on average, 4 hours of sun a day! This is 35% less than Seattle, at 2174. Chicago gets almost double the amount of sun we get, and Los Angeles gets maybe 2.5 times as much as us. Still, you have to understand what London is like to understand how bad it is during the winter. During the winter, our daylight hours are around 8. The sun will "rise" at 8am and sets at 4pm. Many of those days are completely overcast and gloomy. We can go days without seeing the sun at all. The days the sun is out, it is astounding how early it gets dark. Even though the sun sets around 4, because the sun just skims our horizon, it'll start setting closer to 3.
Georgia not looking too happy with being outside in April. We had a long 6-week cold/rain spell. Temperatures in the 40s and rainy. Not fun.

Now one of the reasons that the amount of sunlight is so high is because of the summer. The summer is the exact opposite of the winter. The sun is currently rising around 4:45am (and we still have a month to go until the longest day of the year) and will set around 9 tonight. That is easily 15 hours of sunlight on a day that it is not cloudy. Several days in a row of sunshine and warmth quickly add up to 100 or 200 hours of sunlight. Also, quite often in the spring and fall, we will wake up to gloomy, cloudy skies and around 4 or 5pm the sun will finally come out, giving us 3-4 hours of "sunlight".

Georgia all ready to go out to the grocery store in January

Besides sunlight, our temperatures are nothing to envy. During the winter, the temperatures are from 20s Fahrenheit to maybe low 40s. Some mornings, it will be quite cold, but usually during the day the temperature gets above freezing. Spring will be more in the 40s-50s and summer is usually in the 60s and can get up to 80 on the warmest days. Combine that with high humidity levels (usually around 80 or 90% in the morning and will be more like 40% in the evening), and you have a cold that feels very cold, and a warm that feels very hot and sticky. I know these all sound very temperate, but you have to remember that no one has air conditioning, and traveling on public transportation can be quite hot. On the tube, there are temperatures 100+ during the summer. Windows do not open very far (ours go about 3 inches), so it is difficult to cool off a house on a hot day.
The snowstorm in February

I know there are probably quite a few places that have worse weather - hello?! Arizona, Alaska? But, I would say that living in those places is made much easier given that most people have larger houses and a car. If I had either one of those, living in this climate would be much easier. The need to get out of our house is so strong, that I will take Georgia on usually 2 walks a day - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. You try living in 700sq ft with an 18 month old!

1 comment:

Andrea, said...

Yikes, that is not easy weather to live with. We were there in July so the cool summer was a treat when we left CA's 100 + degrees but Since we were only there a week it was nice. Do you guys have blackout curtains for that morning sun, cuz 4:45 is crazy early!