Knowing a bit about the weather in London will certainly help you when taking photos in London.
England is at a cross roads of several weather system, moist warm air coming up from the south-west, cold air trying to come from the north and hot/cold air coming east/ south from the continent. These battle between these different ‘air mass’ are the reason why London is famous for its changeable weather. We also have the ‘jet stream’ above us and its position tends to give us wetter conditions if it is over or to the south of London, and drier conditions if its further north .
Although the most common feature of London’s weather is grey sky’s and dull, the ‘changeable‘ nature of the weather means that there is usually some periods in the day where the sun does come out or the sky take on a form that enhances your pictures. Again mornings and evenings are usually your best chances for this – but this does vary. It also means that we do not get many days were it rains or shines all day – but we do get a lot of days where you get a mix of sunshine and showers – and of course grey skies.
London was once known for its smog and poor air quality, but today in its post industrial age, London air quality is kept clean by the Atlantic and polar winds and its every changing weather system. We now only get fog in the winter when the days are warmer than usual, the air is still and the nights cold.
Snowfall does occasionally fall in central London but it tends not to settle except in the parks and on open ground. When it does snow, its best to head off early to the parks before the masses, especially if the sky is blue and there is some sunshine. However, you have to set your camera up for snow, protect it from damp and look out for suitable picture that work well in these conditions – such those with strong contrast or those that include bright colours against the white background.
Photos © Philip Carey 2010