New Forest weather
(& the climate of southern England)

Ah, the British weather! How we love it. Or love to talk about it, at least...

A lovely New Forest weather scene

Above, a sunray spectacle over Stoney Cross

In actual fact, for overseas visitors to the New Forest National Park area, the weather isn't as bad as its reputation would suggest!

It's true that the United Kingdom as a whole does get more than its fair share of precipitation, but there is a definite line between the north of the country and the south.

The country experiences a temperate climate with prevailing south-westerly winds bringing warm, moist air in from over the North Altlantic Gulf Stream. This, generally speaking, prevents the icey-cold winters associated with most countries found on similar latitudes around the northern hemisphere.

But yes, the warm moist winds do bring rain, and the western coast of the United Kingdom takes the brunt. The eastern coast is noticeably drier than the west, but experiences colder temperatures in winter.

Weather around the New Forest

As previously mentioned, there is a definite difference in weather between the north of England and Scotland and the south coast of England.
Southern England enjoys more rain-free days, but this isn't to be confused with sunny days - official climatic statistics for the south coast show over one-half the number of days in a year to be partly cloudy or overcast.

Temperatures in the New Forest area are rarely extreme, although they can be very changeable even from day to day. A cold winter may see temperatures drop to -5C, and a hot summer will rarely see temperatures exceed +35C.
The coastal position of the New Forest National Park, however, can mean a relatively high level of humidity during the summer months, and this in turn can lead to regular afternoon thunderstorms.

If you're planning a trip to the area, the biggest issue with the weather is the changeability; you could be in shorts and T-shirt one day, but need full weatherproof gear the next! Do bear this in mind, and pack accordingly!

New Forest forecast

The box below provides current weather information for the town of Southampton, approximately 7 miles east of the New Forest. Clicking the box will take you to a new page with a detailed 5-day forecast for the area, as well as every other piece of atmospheric information that you were too embarrassed to ask about!

Southampton weather

When to visit

If planning a trip to the New Forest National Park, the months of April - September are the best.
However, from the second half of July until the first week in September the main summer school holidays are in full swing, and the area can get very busy!

Weatherwise, August can be an unpredictable month in the south of England, with a potential mix of high temperatures and heavy rain, or even prolonged wet spells and lower temperatures. In May and September, temperatures are usually comfortable and the weather fairly settled, and the New Forest can be at its most picturesque during the spring month of May.