London, United Kingdom: Live Weather

Live weather in London

The latest and today's weather in London, United Kingdom updated regularly

Thursday 22 August
18:54 GMT | 19:54 BST
+1h

Last updated:

22 Aug
UK Time: 19:00 BST
Local Time: 19:00 BST
Mostly Cloudy
72°F (22°C)
11mph (18kmh)
  • Sunrise 05:56
  • Sunset 20:09
Temp feels like: 72°F (22°C)
Length of Day: 14h 13m
Pressure: 30.24" (1024 hpa)
Visiblity: 10 miles (16 km)
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Latest London Holiday Reviews

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Historic Temperatures for 22nd August in London

Average High 70°F (21°C)
Record High 81°F (27°C) (2013)
Average Low 54°F (12°C)
Record Low 46°F (8°C) (2014)

Weather in London

What's the weather like in London?

Climate

London has a temperate maritime climate with all four seasons and generally no extremes of temperature.

How cold does it get in London?

However, it does have a microclimate known as an 'urban heat island'. The mass of heated buildings and people result in temperatures a couple of degrees warmer than outside the city.

As a result, London is one the warmest places in the UK.

Rain

Contrary to popular belief, average annual London rainfall is not particularly high ‚ÄďSydney, for example, has a higher figure.

It's just that there are many grey, drizzly days. Total rainfall may not be that high, but the number of 'rainy days' is.

Weather can vary greatly from year to year; you might get a particularly cold winter, or a particularly wet summer, or a very hot one.

If you visit London, you don't quite know what you're going to get and how cold it is going to get. The London weather forecast is highly changeable and tough to predict.

Summer Weather in London: June ‚Äď Mid September

How many sunny days does London have a year?

The best way to describe a London summer is unpredictable, so be prepared for all eventualities.

There could be a week of continuous rain or, just as likely, seven days of glorious sunshine and temperatures in the high 20s.

It's true that a good summer's day in London is hard to beat, but this weather is notoriously unreliable. Perhaps this unpredictability explains why the weather forecast is such a favoured conversation topic in England.

London averages and temperatures

Does it get cold in London?

Average high temperatures in London peak¬†in summer. July¬†and¬†August¬†are around a pleasant¬†22¬įC (72F).

Some days can see temperatures rise up to and above 30¬įC (86F) during a fine spell. But a July day in the mid-teens is not unheard of either.

The average low temperature in London in¬†peak summer is around 14¬įC (57F).

Summer 2007 was a particularly disappointing¬†one, with lots of rain and grey skies. However, 2003¬†was outstanding, thanks to a¬†record temperature of 38¬įC.¬†

June 2017 was also a memorable summer in London, with weeks of consistent sunshine and strong temperatures.

Rain

London rainfall in summer is around 50 to 60mm per month, making it very marginally the driest time of year. 

Late summer can bring on evening thunderstorms and short, heavy downpours. At least this gets the rain out of the way quickly, rather than with endless drizzle that can occur at other times.

Autumn Weather in London: Mid September - November

Early autumn, from late September, can see good weather and pleasant temperatures, though by October things are starting to cool and rainfall increases slightly.

The wintry weather begins to appear and November sees the first frosts of winter.

Is September a cold month in London?

Temperature

September enjoys average daily highs of 19¬įC and can still get sunny days in the 20s. Mid to high teens can also be possible in October, but by¬†November¬†the temperature will not get far into double figures at its peak.

Autumn is definitely a season of change as the long, warm, sunny days give way to cooler temperatures. The London days begin to shorten noticeably, but September is not particularly cold in London.

Rain

Late autumn is statistically the wettest time of year in London, although in reality you're just as likely to get rain at any time of year.

Winter Weather in London: December - February

Snow

Winters in London are cold, but not bitterly so. Generally, winters are becoming more milder than average, as man-made climate change progresses.

You can also expect some bizarre weather being thrown into the mix. In January (2009) London was as stricken by snowfall as the rest of the country, which is very rare.

Frosts and snow are rarer in the city than elsewhere, due to the 'urban heat island' phenomenon. Warmer temperatures mean that if it does fall, it less likely for snow to settle than in other parts of the United Kingdom.

Temperature

The average winter temperature is 5¬įC (41F), with highs averaging 7¬įC (45F) and lows 2¬įC (36F).

It can often drop to 0¬įC (32F), but temperatures far below are not common, especially in the more built-up areas of the city.

A crisp, sunny winter's day is very beautiful, especially if you find a leafy spot.

But unfortunately there are a lot of damp, grey days during an English winter. Sunshine levels drop to one hour per day in December and only increase slightly thereafter.

Rain

London rainfall is at its highest in late autumn and winter, at between 70 to 80mm per month.

This tends to fall as an irritating drizzle, so there are a lot of rainy days.

If you look at December 2018, days of sunshine were few and far between with very heavy cloud cover throughout the month. 

Coupled with short hours of daylight, this can make winter a bit of a grim time. When you're out in town you may be tempted to duck into the nearest pub and sip ale by the fireplace.

Spring Weather in London: March - May

Spring, again, is a time of unpredictable weather.

Sometimes it's sunny and a pleasant 20¬įC (68F) while all around is blooming, the birds are chirping and the days getting longer. Other times it can be chilly, grey and damp.

Early spring still sees a few frosts (though less so in the city), while by late spring you really begin to feel the arrival of summer weather.

Temperature

March¬†has average highs of just 10¬įC, while this rises to 17¬įC by¬†May.

Rain

Rainfall is around 50 to 60mm per month in spring. This time is known for its frequent¬†but brief showers ‚Äď coined the 'April¬†showers'.

Sunshine Hours

Sunshine levels increase as the season progresses.

Nearest beach to London is Southend at 42 miles from the East, or Brighton 54 miles to the south (52 minutes by train from London Victoria ).  

Or if you want to get the London Underground, there is always the Lido at Ruislip which is 20 miles from central London. 

Extreme Weather

Although the UK is not particularly well known for its extreme weather, there have been a number of significant weather events affecting London over the years.

Floods

January 1928 saw the last major flood of London's city-centre. Heavy snowfalls over Christmas 1927 were followed by a rise in temperature and a period of unusually heavy rain in early January 1928.

The resulting snow thaw, combined with heavy rain, resulted in an overall doubling of the amount of water in the River Thames.

This coincided with a high spring tide and a storm surge caused by a depression over the North Sea that raised the water level in the Thames Estuary by 1.5 metres.

This combination of weather resulted in the highest water levels ever recorded in London. The embankments overflowed and large areas of the city were flooded, including the Houses of Parliament, Tate Gallery and riverside Underground stations.

Again in 1953 a storm surge in the North Sea raised water levels to such an extent that the embankments came within millimetres of overflowing again.

To guard against subsequent flooding the Thames Barrier was built as a defence against high tides and storm surges.

Air Pollution

The Great Smog of December 1952 was the worst air pollution incident in UK history.

An anticyclone settled over London causing cold, stagnant air to be trapped under a layer of warm air.

Unprecedented levels of pollutants such as chimney smoke, particles from vehicle exhausts and sulphur dioxide combined in the windless conditions to produce a thick fog that persisted for four days.

The fatal fog that haunted London

The 'pea-souper' - as the fog was known due to its characteristic yellow-black colour caused by soot particles - cut visibility to just a few metres, so driving became impossible. The smog even penetrated indoors, causing the cancellation of film screenings and concerts.

Londoners were so used to the smog that people weren't worried initially. But it is estimated that 12,000 people died in the following weeks and months due to lung and respiratory tract infections.

This led to an increased awareness of air pollution and efforts were made to improve the air quality in subsequent years. Thankfully London's famous 'pea-soupers' are now consigned to history.

Storms

The Great Storm of October 1987 caused 18 deaths, as an unusually strong weather system passed over the south of England.

In London, many trees were blown over causing damage to buildings and flattening parked cars. Six of the seven famous oak trees in Sevenoaks were toppled.

Fatalities were kept to a minimum as the storm hit during the night. But this wasn't the case three years later when 97 people were killed in a storm of comparable intensity, during the daylight hours.

Tornados

In 2006 a tornado struck the northwest London area of Kensal Green. A total of £10 million of damage was caused to 100 homes. The UK actually experiences approximately 35-40 tornadoes a year, the highest number of any country in Europe.

Snow

February 2009 saw the highest UK snowfall for 18 years. London received 20 centimetres of snow. Many airports were closed for a period, public transport was severely affected and much of London's sporting schedule was disrupted. Hospitals received an increased number of injured patients from slips and falls in the snow and schools were closed for several days.

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