The British Isles are very windy. This means that the weather changes constantly. Here is a typical day: you wake up and see a perfect blue sky. Perhaps you plan to do something outside —a walk, a picnic. At about 10 o’clock a few small, white clouds appear. At 11 o’clock the clouds are quite large, and at lunch time, perhaps when you are walking in the countryside or starting your picnic, it starts to rain. The rain comes and goes through the afternoon and then by evening the sky is blue again. After a perfect sunset you can enjoy a clear night sky full of stars.
Frustrating? Of course it is! British people call the sudden periods of rain ‘showers’. They clean the air and create the typical green British landscape. However, they are a real problem if you want to organise an outdoor event, because you never really know what the weather will be like until the last minute.
There are some solutions. British people love their gardens and many of them have barbecues. Because of the unpredictable weather, they often have barbecue huts. In this way, if it rains, they can have their barbecue and sit in a shelter.
People from other countries think that British people always carry umbrellas. In fact, many Brits prefer some kind of waterproof jacket or coat. You can keep a waterproof jacket in your bag all the time because it doesn’t weigh very much. Also, umbrellas are not very useful if it is windy, and in the UK, it usually is! When it comes to footwear, Wellington boots or ‘wellies’ are, of course, essential.
It’s not surprising that British TV weather forecasters become well-known personalities and giving the weather forecast is a real art. Sometimes the descriptions are very poetic. Unfortunately, they are not always reliable. We have some of the best meteorological centres in the world, but there is simply too much different weather and it is constantly changing, so it’s never possible to be 100 per cent accurate.
The secret is to be prepared, although Murphy’s Law often applies! British people know that, if you have an umbrella or a waterproof jacket with you, you probably won’t need it. If you go out without anything, there will probably be a storm!