The Climate of Great Britain

Great Britain is situated on islands. It is washed by seas from all sides. That’s why the climate and the nature of Great Britain is very specific. The popular belief that it rains all the time in Britain is simply not true. In fact, London gets no more rain in a year than most other major European cities. Generally speaking, the further west you go, the more rain you get. The mild winters mean that snow is a regular feature of the higher areas only. The winters are in general a bit colder in the east of the country than they are in the west. While in summer, the south is slightly warmer and sunnier than the north. Besides Britain is famous for its fogs. Sometimes fogs are so thick that it is impossible to see anything within 2 or 3 metres.
Why has Britain’s climate got such a bad reputation? Maybe it is for the same reason that British people always seem to be talking about the weather. There is a saying that Britain doesn’t have a climate, it only has weather. You can never be sure of a fry day, though it may not rain very much altogether. There can be cool and even cold days in July and some quite warm days in January. The weather changes very often. Mark Twain said about America: «If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes» but it is more likely to have been said about England.
The lack of extremes is the reason why on the few occasions when it gets genuinely hot or freezing cold, the country seems to be totally unprepared for it. A bit of snow, a few days of frost and the trains stop working and the roads are blocked. If the thermometer goes above 27°C, people behave as if they were in the Sahara and the temperature makes front-page headlines. These things happen so seldom that it is not worth organizing life to be ready for them. Everyone who comes to Great Britain says that it looks like one great beautiful park. The British people love their country and take care of it.

Questions:
1. Why is the climate and the nature of Great Britain very specific?
2. What is Britain famous for?
3. Why has Britain’s climate got such a bad reputation?
4. The weather in Britain is very changeable, isn’t it?
5. Does it rain often?