Weather and Climate

The weather in Scotland doesn't differ that much from other areas in the UK although Scotland is a bit more cloudy, somewhat wetter and the average temperatures are lower, especially in the (far) north.

The best of the sunshine is for Ayrshire and the south-west coast, Lothians, Angus and Fife, the least for the mountains in the Highland region. The peak in sunshine hours falls in May and June and the least sunshine is for December and January. Because of the high latitude the winterdays are very short but are compensated with long summerdays with only 5 hours of 'almost darkness'. Check out the Daylight Hours in Scotland table to find out about the amount of daylight in each month.


Average Annual Sunshine ChartAverage Sunshine in hours


Rainfall is another key element of Scottish weather although it is not as bad as people sometimes tell you. Some areas receive about 3,000 mm per year (the western Highlands) and other areas only 800 mm per year (the east coast). Measurable rainfall occurs on over 250 days in the Highlands to 175 days per year in other parts.

To check for snowfall visit the Scotland Webcams page

The winds favourite direction is from the south-west and strong winds occur more often and are the strongest in the Western Isles and the north-west coast .


Average Annual Rainfall Chart
Average rainfall in mm

January and February are the coldest months with an average of around 5 to 7 C. The summermonths have an average of about 19 Degr. C. The annual mean temperature on Ben Nevis (1344m) is -0,3C. Snowfall occurs on less than 20 days near the west-coast to more than 100 days in the Cairngorm Mountains mainly in the months December to March.

Glasgow Annual weather Glasgow Climate Graph

Weather Poetry (with a smile)

It rained and rained and rained and rained,
The average was well maintained;
And when our fields were simply bogs,
It started raining cats and dogs.
After a drought of half an hour,
There came a most refreshing shower;
And then the queerest thing of all,
A gentle rain began to fall.

Next day 'twas pretty fairly dry,
Save for a deluge from the sky.
This wetted people to the skin,
But after that the rain set in.
We wondered what's the next we'd get,
As sure as fate we got more wet.
But soon we'll have a change again,
And we shall have..... A drop of rain

Weather Forecast for Inverness

Inverness Weather forecast

Weather Records, Extremes and other interesting bits

Maximum duration in a month: 329 hours at Tiree (Argyll and Bute) in May 1946 and May 1975.
Minimum duration in a month: 0.6 hours at Cape Wrath (Highland) in January 1983.

Wettest counties
From the ten wettest counties in the UK, six of them are in Scotland - Argyllshire 2200mm, Dunbartonshire 2000mm, Inverness 1970mm, Ross and Cromarty 1800mm, Buteshire 1720mm and Kirkcudbrightshire 1630mm. The other three counties are in Wales and one in Cumbria.

Maximum in a day (09-09 UTC): 238 mm at Sloy Main Adit, Loch Lomond on 17 January 1974.

Highest gust recorded at a low-level site: 123 knots (142 mph) at Fraserburgh (Aberdeenshire) on 13 Feb 1989.
Highest gust recorded at a high-level site: 150 knots (173 mph) at Cairngorm Automatic Weather Station (on the border of Highland and Moray at an altitude of 1245 m AMSL) on 20 March 1986.

Highest recorded 32.9 C at Greycrook (Scottish Borders) on 9 August 2003.
Lowest recorded -27.2 C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) on 11 February 1895 and 10 January 1982.

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