Here's why it rarely snows in Portsmouth, according to the Met Office

Portsmouth experiences a lot of different types of weather throughout the year.

From windy storms to heavy rain and plenty of glorious sunshine.

But one type of weather the city rarely gets is snow. Meaning that proper snow days can live long in the memory, such as the flurry that fell on the city during the Beast from the East in March 2018.

The News decided to ask the Met Office if they could explain why it is that Portsmouth does not regularly see snowfall.

Southsea seafront and pier covered in snow in March 2018. Picture: Keith Woodland

It comes as snow has fallen in parts of the country overnight and this morning.

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A spokeswoman for the forecasting service said: ‘There are a number of reasons why Portsmouth has less snow than other areas of the UK, but mainly it is because the city is on the south coast.

‘In winter, the land gets cold more quickly than the sea, so where there is a lot of land and very little sea, such as the huge interior of continental Europe, Canada or the United States, it gets cold enough for snow to fall frequently.

‘However for the UK as a whole, being an island surrounded by sea, the air can often warm up slightly before it reaches our shores, and we often see rain rather than snow. Sea temperatures in the English Channel are often warmer than the North Sea.

‘The coldest air we experience in the UK often comes from the north or east and Portsmouth being on the south coast is often sheltered from these extremes.

‘The city is also obviously at sea level, temperatures drop the higher you go, when the air rises up the hill, it becomes colder, and condenses to form cloud and precipitation, either snow or rain.

‘One other reason snow does not settle in coastal towns could be to do with salt. Marine air contains a higher concentration of salt, salt is used as a de-icer in many parts of the world.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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