Wales map

Index


Introduction



In Wales the climate is oceanic, cool, humid and cloudy for most of the year.
The wind blows frequently too.
However, there are differences depending on the area. The coasts are milder, while the inland areas, where hills and low mountains are found, are colder, and can experience heavy snowfalls in winter.
Precipitation is abundant on the south-western coast and in inland hills, where it exceeds 1,500 millimeters (60 inches) per year, while it drops to 850-1,000 mm (33-40 in) on the remaining coasts.
Snow is rare on the coasts, while it becomes more frequent in the inland hills. It snows on average for about 10 days a year in Swansea, on the southern coast, for 25 days in the inland hills, and for more than 40 days in Snowdonia.
In winter, the temperature generally reaches -5/-6 °C (21/23 °F) on the coldest days along the coasts, and lower values in inland areas. In summer, the temperature rarely reaches 30 °C (86 °F), and it does so only on the hottest days. However, in Cardiff, the temperature reached -10.2 °C (13.5 °F) in January 1987 and 33.5 °C (92.5 °F) in August 1990.

Valley

The island of Anglesey is located in the northwest. In the RAF (Royal Air Force) station of Valley, the average temperature goes from 5.5 °C (42 °F) in February to 16 °C (61 °F) in August. Here are the average temperatures.
Valley - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)4346811131311964
Max (°C)881012151719191714119
Min (°F)393739434652555552484339
Max (°F)464650545963666663575248

Rainfall amounts to 840 mm (33 in) per year. The wettest season is autumn. Here is the average rainfall.
Valley - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)75556555505555707010010590840
Prec.(in)32.22.62.222.22.22.82.83.94.13.533.1
Days1411121191091111151615143

In the interior of Wales, there are hills and low mountains, where the climate becomes colder and wetter as the altitude increases.
In the national park of Snowdonia, we find Mount Snowdon, which reach 1,085 meters (3,560 feet) and is the highest in Wales. It is believed that one of the peaks of the area (Crib Goch) is the rainiest point in the whole of Great Britain: 4,475 mm (176 in) of rain fall there per year. On these peaks, it can snow from October to May. Temperatures vary a lot, and can become mild under the influence of south-west air masses.

Lake Vyrnwy

Already on the banks of Lake Vyrnwy, at an altitude of 360 meters (1,180 ft), the temperature is lower than at sea level. Here are the average temperatures.
Vyrnwy - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)11236911119641
Max (°C)6681014161818151286
Min (°F)343436374348525248433934
Max (°F)434346505761646459544643

Precipitation is plentiful, given that it amounts to 1,600 mm (63 in) per year. Here is the average rainfall.
Vyrnwy - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)19514514095959095951152001752001635
Prec.(in)7.75.75.53.73.73.53.73.74.57.96.97.964.4
Days181417131312131413181719182

In the south-west of Wales, we find then the Brecon Beacons National Park, whose highest point is Pen y Fan, 886 meters high.

Cardiff

Cardiff, the capital, is located in the south, in the Bristol Channel. In summer, it is the warmest city in Wales. Here are the average temperatures.
Cardiff - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)2245811131311853
Max (°C)891114172022221915119
Min (°F)363639414652555552464137
Max (°F)464852576368727266595248

In Cardiff, 1,150 mm (45 in) of rain fall per year, with a maximum between October and January and a relative minimum between April and June. Here is the average precipitation.
Cardiff - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)12085907070658095951351251251150
Prec.(in)4.73.33.52.82.82.63.13.73.75.34.94.945.3
Days161113111110111111161514149

In Wales, the sky is often cloudy, however, the coasts, where there are 1,500/1,600 hours of sunshine per year, are the sunniest areas. In Cardiff, the sun shines for about 6 hours per day from May to August (which, considering the length of the days, are not many). Here are the average sunshine hours per day in Cardiff.
Cardiff - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours234666665322

The temperature of the sea in Wales remains very cool, if not cold, even in summer: in August, the temperature of the Atlantic Ocean reaches 16 °C (61 °F). Here are the average water temperatures at Swansea (located on the coast, west of Cardiff).
Swansea - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)1099101113151616151311
Temp (°F)504848505255596161595552

Caernarfon Castle

Best Time



The best time to visit Wales is summer, from June to August, since it is the mildest period of the year.

What to pack



In winter: pack warm clothes, such as a sweater, a coat, a wind jacket, and a raincoat. For colder periods: pack gloves, a hat, and a scarf.
In summer: pack clothes for spring and autumn, a jacket and a sweater, and a raincoat or umbrella.

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