At 'Four Seasons' our thinking about English climate and weather has changed in recent years! We used to think that we had an a very poor climate here in the UK because winters seemed long and damp and summers were often lacking in hot sunshine.


Since we have joined Flickr, and have been able to enjoy the photos posted by gardeners in many other areas of the world, we now realise how fortunate we are in the UK not to experience the trauma of extreme heat, extreme drought or extreme cold experienced by so many other countries in the world!

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July is the warmest month in the West Midlands, with Met Office (1971–2000 averages) figures showing an average high of 21.2°C (70.2°F) and an average low 11.5°C ( 51.8°F).

Double click on photo to enlarge or play slideshow

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In the UK we have the distinct seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter.  We do not have the regular, annual rainy or dry periods experienced by many areas of the tropics and subtropics where they are called "rainy/wet/ monsoon or dry seasons".


In our garden we increasingly have noticed that each of the seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter has two phases; for example e.g "early and late spring" and "early and late autumn". Interestingly, ecologists apparently often use a six season model for temperate climate regions that includes pre-spring and late summer as distinct seasons along with the traditional four.

Due to the collision of damp Atlantic air and dry continental air, the UK has large temperature variations and there is a marked tendency to unsettled weather.  It is not unusual for many types of weather to occur in a single day!


In the UK, on average, about 30% of the daytime is sunshine; however, there is considerable day-to-day variation!


Our West Midlands region in the UK is in USDA cold hardiness zone 8, with  an average annual minimum temperature of -12°C (+12°F).  The region is in AHS heat zone 1.

Photos of our garden in all types of weather!

Weather eventsWeather_events.html

Weather

Spring (March - May)

Summer (June - August)

Autumn (September-November)

Winter (December-February)

The Meteorological seasons* in the UK are as follows:


Spring is the period from March to May.


Summer lasts from June to August and is the warmest season. The hours of daylight are long in summer and reach almost 17 hours in mid-June.


Autumn is the period from September to November. Autumn is probably the season with the biggest range in weather conditions.


Winter in the UK lasts from December to February. The hours of daylight are short during the winter and are just 8 hours at the end of December.


*Meteorological  seasons are decided according to temperature, with summer being the hottest quarter of the year, and winter the coldest quarter of the year.

In the West Midlands, January is the coldest month with Met Office (1971–2000 averages) figures showing an average high of 6°C (42.8°F)  and an average low of low 0.3°C (32.5°F).


In an average year there are about 50 days each year with air frost in the West Midlands and about 80 days with grass frost.


Temperature forecasts by the Met Office are for 1.25 metres above the ground.


The definition of an 'air frost' is when the temperature at 1.25 metres above the ground falls below 0°C, but ground temperatures can be 3°C colder than this!


The Met Office definition of 'ground frost' refers to a temperature below 0°C measured on a grass surface.

For more details of UK and Midland weather events since 2006 go to