“Variable” is a vague but appropriate way to describe the many moods of Scotland’s cool temperate climate. The weather changes quickly - a rainy morning can often be followed by a sunny afternoon. There are also wide variations over small distances; while one glen broods under cloud, the next may be basking in sunshine. As some locals are wont to say, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait for five minutes.” May, June and September are generally the driest months but you can expect rain at any time. Storms are rare from April to August.
Considering how far north the country lies (Edinburgh is on the same latitude as Labrador in Canada), you might expect a colder climate, but the winds from the Atlantic are warmed by the Gulf Stream. The east coast tends to be drier than the west – rainfall averages around 650mm - and is often warmer in summer and colder in winter. Temperatures rarely drop below 0oC on the coast, although winds off the North Sea can rattle your teeth. The west coast is milder and wetter, with over 1500mm of rain and average summer highs of 19oC. The western Highlands around Fort William are the wettest place in Britain, with annual rainfall as high as 300mm.…
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