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North York Moors and Coast Weather



North Yorkshire is blessed with a climate that, with prudence, is particularly suitable for all year round holidays and outdoor pursuits. In the UK the prevailing winds are from the west arriving in Britain after crossing the Atlantic Ocean, from which they pick up moisture. The air rises as it reaches higher ground, cools and falls as rain. North Yorkshire itself is sheltered to the West from the prevailing weather by the Pennines, and hence has a surprisingly low annual rainfall that brings the bonus of an abundance of sunny days!

Overseas visitors tend to believe that it rains a lot in England, but in fact rainfall is similar to that in the rest of Europe. Rainfall is evenly spread during the year, so even in summer a visitor is likely to experience some wet weather. In spring and autumn there are likely to be some heavy showers, often followed by sunshine. In winter the rain is usually lighter but may last for longer, and snowfall is not uncommon. In the summer there is often an extended period of hot sunny weather which often ends with a spectacular thunderstorm. It is because the weather can change very quickly that many British people carry an umbrella with them throughout the year, even when it appears to be a fine day.

The North York Moors

The North York Moors is located directly adjacent to the North Sea and as such has a temperate climate with cooler summers and milder winters than might normally be expected. This is a result of the heating and cooling effect of the large mass of sea water, which itself warms and cools much more slowly than land/air and hence has a damping effect on the local weather system.

The unpredictability of the weather helps to make The North York Moors and Coast an interesting place to visit at any time of the year! However the weather rarely spoils the general visitors enjoyment of the area as there is so much to do, come rain, hail or shine, winter, spring, summer and autumn. However, be warned in the winter months the moors can be a very beautiful place to visit especially with lying snow, but only a fool would venture up to the central moors on foot without knowing the Weather Forecast and having the correct equipment.

Weather figures to be used as a guide are:

  • 130 wet days per annum
  • 215 dry days per annum
  • 20 snow fall days per annum
  • Rainfall 1,000 to 1,520 mm near the coast, 635 to 760 mm inland
  • Summer temperature typically 20 to 32 degrees C
  • Winter temperature typically -1 to 10 degrees C


North York Moors Monthly Weather

January to March - are the coldest months with a strong possibility of heavy overnight frost and snow fall especially on the moors themselves.
April and May - are significantly warmer months often with very pleasant sunny periods, but always the possibility of showers- carry a brolly!
June, July and August - the driest period of the year and often signifies a typical glorious English summer, with the moors at their most spectacular covered in purple heather as far as the eye can see, but take a rain coat for those occasional summer showers.
September and October - the weather is generally pleasant at this time of year with temperate autumnal days and the area is particularly beautiful with vivid flora and fauna and especially golden tree foliage.
November and December - nights are now drawing in with the chill of winter starting to show, and the possibility of snow fall. It also tends to be wetter than most other times of the year.

Daylight Hours

Sunrise in December is typically after 8am and sunset is before 4pm, so it is light for about 8 hours. In the summer mid-June sunrise is typically 4:30am and sunset is around 9:30pm, so it is light for 17 hours of the day.

On the last Sunday in March clocks are put forward by 1 hour as the UK changes to British Summer Time (GMT+1). Visitors need to be careful because they may miss their travel connections if they forget to make the change. On the last Sunday in October clocks are put back by 1 hour as the UK changes back to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). If you forget you may arrive 1 hour too early for appointments or alternatively, as most Brits do, just spend 1 hour more in bed without feeling guilty!