Did You Know?
- How to Cope With the Scottish Weather

Castle Campbell

Nobody comes to Scotland to get a sun tan. But first-time visitors are sometimes uncertain about what sort of weather they are going to find during their stay here, especially if they hear apocryphal stories like "If you don't like the Scottish weather, wait half an hour and it'll change." But here's some factual information and advice to allow you to cope!

  1. Average temperatures in the summertime in most parts of Scotland are around 55/65F so pack clothes which are appropriate for that range.
  2. The temperatures can fall below this but equally they can be above, so it is best to have clothes which you can "layer" and add and subtract as required. Temperatures above 80F are most unusual in Scotland.
  3. Average rainfall in Edinburgh is around 26 inches - about 2.5 inches a month, which is not really a lot, unless you come from Texas.
  4. There can be a lot of cloud around even when it is not raining. Despite modern forecasting, rainfall can be unpredictable, so it is usually safer to take a waterproof coat or umbrella. You can buy a "telescopic" umbrella which collapses to a small size when not being used.
  5. Rainfall is higher in the west than in the east - Glasgow has an average of 46 inches of rain and some exposed places have even higher levels.
  6. If you want to reduce the amount of rain you experience, the driest months of the year are April and May.
  7. If you are in the Highlands and climbing in the hills, don't forget it gets colder higher up - and that weather can change rapidly, even in summer.
  8. Winters temperatures in central Scotland are usually in the range 30/45F and the wind chill factor in winter can make it feel colder, especially in the East. So if you are coming over for New Year (Hogmanay) wrap up warm.
  9. Snow is not very frequent in central Scotland - you need to go further north and into the mountains and even there, snow for the ski resorts is not guaranteed.
  10. In an average year, there are around 1,500 hours of sunshine in central Scotland - so bring your sunglasses too!
  11. World Climate Statistics gives more facts and figures on sunshine and rainfall for a number of Scottish towns.

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