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Touring: Weather

Use the fact files of a decent atlas or look up weather charts in guidebooks to find out details on when is the best time to visit your chosen destination. It is probably best to err on the side of caution with many temperature and precipitation charts, as many of these charts reflect averages, often taken between the hours of 0900-1730 and often give temperature readings well below the maximum or above the expected minimum. Also be sure to take into account wind-chill factors. These will make predicted temperatures appear and feel colder than they actually appear on paper.

Water temperatures are inevitably subject to change along with the seasons, except in the case of the countries that fall within range of the tropics. These regions experience warm sea temperatures year-round. Those seeking a slice of winter sun in warmer countries than their own, may be surprised to find the water is colder than expected in the months of early spring, and whilst the air temperature may feel warm, the sea's may leave a lot to be desired. This is because the oceans of the world cool down considerably at the beginning of the winter and take a long time to warm up again in the spring. Summer is obviously the warmest time of the year to swim in the sea although October may be warmer than April because the oceans take longer to cool down after the hot spell than they do to warm up from the cold. 

Some areas of the world are renowned for having 'Monsoons' or rainy seasons. These are not usually the best time to visit a country as travel can become difficult due to roads becoming flooded and overland travel methods inevitably being either delayed or even cancelled. Be prepared with decent waterproofs and even an umbrella in this instance. Besides having rainy seasons, many countries experience the extreme sides of cold and heat. Travelling in a colder country during wintertime will mean that you will probably wear more layers of clothing on a daily basis and therefore need to pack more clothes in the long-run, as well as a thick coat, hat and gloves.

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