Cornwall has a mild and temperate climate all year round, and due to its southerly position is an average the warmest part of the UK. The weather conditions are influenced by the Gulf Stream, which brings warm moist air from the Caribbean and allows many sub tropical plants and flowers to thrive here. Tropical palms and exotic flowers flourish in the many spectacular botanical and domestic gardens around the area. Cornwall is a favourite holiday destination as the weather can generally be relied upon to be fairly warm and even in the winter months makes a perfect destination for walking, cycling, fishing, surfing and numerous other outdoor pursuits.
The Cornwall peninsula is surrounded on three sides by the sea, in the North West there is the Celtic Sea, the South West the Atlantic Ocean, and off the South East coast is the English Channel. The South coast is fully exposed to the onshore winds which prevail from the South West, creating the perfect conditions for beach fishing. Where the Atlantic Ocean crashes in to the rocky headlands the highest waves build and break to provide excellent conditions for world class surfing. The exposed coasts experience wind speeds of force 4 - 5 in the winter months and force 3 - 4 in the summer months. Gales are more prevalent in the winter months and can be expected for an average of 10 days each month from December to February, but less than 1 day each month between May and August. Most of the coast is fresh and breezy but there are many sheltered little coves where the beaches are protected by high rocky cliffs and are perfect for soaking up the warmth of the sun all year round
Sunshine and Temperatures:
Cornwall has one of the highest amounts of sunshine in the UK with more than 1541 hours per year and an average annual temperature of around 11.6 °C (53 °F). May is usually the sunniest month and July is the hottest month with the longest spells of daily sunshine, however the exposed coastal position means that summer temperatures are not quite as high as in the central uplands. Spring through to autumn brings the best of the Cornish weather and the warm seasons last a little longer than average here. The Scilly Isles, which form part of the Duchy of Cornwall and lie just off the South West coast, are on average the warmest place in Britain, whilst Falmouth on the east coast has the hottest recorded daily temperatures.
South west Cornwall experiences a relatively high amount of rainfall compared to the east coast and more northerly areas of the UK due to the warm, moist winds of the Gulf Stream. On average 1051 to 1290 mm of rain falls each year. The weather conditions change frequently and can change very rapidly, sometimes with very heavy and sharp showers, so it is advisable to check the weather forecast and take suitable clothing and footwear before heading out on a trip. Its always worth taking a light raincoat and/or umbrella with you even on sunny days, however very hazardous weather is comparatively rare in Cornwall.
Winter temperatures are consistently mild and there is hardly ever any snow, frost or extreme temperatures experienced in Cornwall. Some of the local Cornish people have never actually seen snow fall in the county or seen temperatures fall below freezing. The average January temperatures in Cornwall are normally similar to those in the Mediterranean.
Surfing, diving, see angling and sailing are amongst the more popular water sports enjoyed all year round off the Cornish coast. The sea temperature is mild and varies from 9 - 10°C in February to 16 - 17°C in August, which not only encourages swimmers but a wide variety of wildlife to also grace the Cornish shores. Basking sharks, dolphins, seals and porpoise are frequent visitors.
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