West Country | Weather Forecast
The West Country, including the counties of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset can expect well over 1500 hours of sunshine annually and whilst May is usually the sunniest month, May to August average around 7 hours of sunshine a day.
The South West or West Country is surrounded by sea for the most part and so it is hardly surprising that the sea exerts a marked impact on the weather and climate of the area. On the eastern edge of the Gulf Stream, the greatest effect is felt in winter, when temperatures are generally higher than would be normally expected at such latitudes; the mean January temperature in the South West is similar to such Mediterranean resorts as Benidorm, Nice, Naples and Corfu. In summer, however, the sea does record the highest temperatures.
The air temperature during the winter rarely falls below freezing (0°C) and in summer, although the mean maximum is around 19°C, the daytime maximum often reaches 21°C and occasionally 30°C+. Rain falls the year round, with a distinct maximum during winter, mainly from the regular procession of weather fronts that move east across the Atlantic and the UK.
In summer these fronts are generally less frequent, taking a more northerly track and are much weaker. From a sailor’s, surfer and kite surfer’s viewpoint, the exposed coastal waters around the county yield a mean wind speed force 4 – 5 in winter and 3 – 4 in summer.