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Sunshine totals throughout the year are more than that of Scotland and Northern Ireland, but less than that of neighbouring England. As the sun rises higher in the sky and the days get longer, temperatures slowly rise, but the solar effect is mitigated somewhat by the effect of the cool ocean waters and westerly winds that blow across them.There is a fair chance of snow earlier in the season when temperatures are colder - often in March.
Since the UK is always in or close to the path of the polar front jet stream, frequent changes in pressure and unsettled weather are typical.
Many types of weather can be experienced in a single day.
Northern Ireland is also drier than Wales in every month, yet it rains on more days.
The rainiest month is January, when 17.8 days have more than 1 mm (0.04 in) of rain on average.
England is also sunnier throughout the year, but unlike Wales, Northern Ireland & Scotland, the sunniest month is July, totalling 193.5 hours.
It rains on fewer days in every month throughout the year than the rest of the UK, and rainfall totals are less in every month, with the driest month, May, averaging 58.4 mm (2.30 in).Eastern areas are drier, cooler, less windy and also experience the greatest daily and seasonal temperature variations.Northern areas are generally cooler, wetter and have slightly larger temperature ranges than southern areas.The UK is mostly under the influence of the maritime polar air mass from the north-west.Northern Ireland and the west of Scotland are the most exposed to the maritime polar air mass which brings cool moist air; the east of Scotland and north-east England are more exposed to the continental polar air mass which brings cold dry air.Northern Ireland is warmer than Scotland throughout the year.