Every time I go abroad foreigners will consistently remind me of how rainy and miserable London's weather is. It is repeated so often that even those who've never visited have a firm opinion on the subject. Curiously, you have all been led astray.
I can be stuck in a blizzard, typhoon, hail of locusts in the approaching Armageddon, etc... and before I even roll my eyes, all I'll hear are snide comments reminding me that I have no right to complain - because I'm from London town where it's been raining since Y2k - and the millennium before that.
At the risk of destroying all credibility, I will admit I've always liked the weather in London: a sprinkling of snow in winter, leaves falling off the trees in autumn, and long summer days spent almost entirely drinking outside, never mind a minor drizzle here and there.
Now, as a seasoned New Yorker I've spent the last couple of years being scorched by the sun, drowned in torrential rain and subjected to the most ridiculous winters- brutally cold with icy snowflakes aiming at your eyeballs- from November till about March. Oh, and let's not forget Hurricane Sandy. By the way, the oh-so-chique Hamptons, where sexy New Yorkers spend their summers, is really an evacuation center for people trying to escape the city heat.
It also seems to rain more on this side of the puddle. This has made me suspicious.
So, I've investigated. I am happy to report that the notorious London rain has been blown completely out of proportion. According to the Met Office Climate data, London averages about 109 rainy days a year. Average rainfall is 557.4mm with 1410 "sunshine hours." This means there are more rainy days in Miami (at 135) and Orlando, Florida (117) than there are in London.
New York City, I should add, clocks in at 122 days and 1,268mm of rain. Indeed, in any given year, there are more rainy days in Washington DC, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, and Mexico City than in our much-belittled capital.
So take that, world.
I suggest that either we are a nation of complainers, or London has simply traumatized all its summer visitors, who depart soggy and pale.
Either way, it might be time to set the record straight.