It’s raining again!

Manchester is famous for its rain. There is a standing joke that it always rains in Manchester. If you follow my blog, you will know that we were lucky this year to find many days of sunshine during summer. But, that is gone now. This week, the weather came back to its normal self, drizzling now and then. This week is also the start of new academic year. University campus became busy by the student arrival and registration for the new academic year. Also, students have guests or parents who visit campus as well.

It marks exact one year of my arrival at Manchester. Previous year was even worse. I arrived late and as expected, registration got delayed. I had to visit SSO several times and meet with professors to get necessary information. One of them even cracked a joke –

How do you like the weather? Nice, isn’t it! Consider it your punishment for arriving late. 🙂

But, I wonder why Manchester is so infamous for its weather. I have been to Scottish highland where it rains more. I have also been to other districts in Greater Manchester county, where the weather is colder than Manchester. The problem of Manchester weather is not the amount of rain, but the way it rains. Consider this scenario. You look out of the window to see smoky hazed sunshine. When you come out of the room, it starts drizzling. When you board bus, it stops. After next three stops, it starts drizzling again. Note, I did not mention rain, it just always drizzles!

This kind of moist weather helped massive growth of textile industry during industrial revolution in 18th century. A recent study showed that it is raining more in Manchester than earlier times. It is believed that it is due to clearer unpolluted air. Manchester is surrounded by hills or pennines. West Pennine Moors is situated to the northwest of Manchester. South Pennines covers north and northeast directions. And to the east and south east, there is peak district.

That leaves the south-west direction open for moist air from Atlantic ocean to enter. This moist air forms the cloud and when it meet the pennines, it is forced to go upwards over the pennines. With increase in height, the air becomes cooler. Subsequently, water droplets form and it rains. Due to rain and relatively lower height than its surrounding places, the temperature stays cold, but within tolerable limit. The pennines also block cold air coming from North sea from north and north-east direction.

So, the pennines are the main reason for this irritating constant drizzle. But, we must be thankful to the same pennines to protect Manchester from severe cold wave.