The Weather & Climate of the Lake District

Being situated on the north west coast of England, and having the highest mountains in the vicinity, the Lake District is the wettest area of the whole country. Average yearly precipitation is around 2000 mm, however there are also large local differences in these measurements. Even though the area has high rainfall, there is a large disparity between the amount of rain which falls in the western and eastern sides of the region. The wettest village in the British Isles is Seathwaite located in the north lakes which has an average of around 3500 mm of rain per year, but a nearby Tarn is much wetter, recording over 5000 mm a year; in contrast, Keswick, located just to the north of has just 1470 mm per year, and the town of Penrith (on the western edge of the National Park) gets only 870 mm. March, April, May and June are the driest months, with October, November, December and January receive the majority of the rainfall, however at low altitudes rain can fall in equal quantities throughout the seasons.

The Lake District can be very windy, though protected valleys only have gales for five days per year on average. In complete contrast, areas on the coast experience twenty days with gales ; while the tops of the fells could have over a hundred days with gales every year.

The costal climate means the Lake District has relatively modest variations in temperature throughout the year. Average temperature down in the valleys is about 3 °C in January and around 15 °C in July. (In comparison, a city at the same latitude, Moscow, has a range from -10 °C to 19 °C).

The comparatively low elevation of the hills means that, whilst snow is expected in the winter, the tops can be snow-free at any time of year. Usually, heavy snow-fall occurs in-between November and April. Averagely, snow falls on the summit of Helvellyn for 67 days each year. Over the year, the lower-lying valleys usually experience no more than 20 days of snow falling, but have 200 wet days, and normally 145 dry days.

Fog on the hills can occur at any time of year, the fells have only about two-and-a-half hours of sunshine each day, which increases to about four hours every day on the flatter the coastal region.

Source: Wikipedia – under the GNU Free Doc Licence