Edinburgh WeatherIt's fair to say that Edinburgh's weather enjoys a certain reputation. It's also fair to say that this reputation is less than glorious, even compared with the rest of Scotland! Writing in his Picturesque Notes, Robert Louis Stevenson said:
That might be a little unfair, but only a little.
Edinburgh pays cruelly for her high seat in one of the vilest climates under heaven. She is liable to be beaten upon by all the winds that blow, to be drenched with rain, to be buried in cold sea fogs out of the east, and powdered with the snow as it comes flying southward from the Highland hills. The weather is raw and boisterous in winter, shifty and ungenial in summer, and a downright meteorological purgatory in the spring. The delicate die early, and I, as a survivor, among bleak winds and plumping rain, have been sometimes tempted to envy them their fate. For all who love shelter and the blessings of the sun, who hate dark weather and perpetual tilting against squalls, there could scarcely be found a more unhomely and harassing place of residence.
When the sun does show its face the weather in Edinburgh can be wonderful - especially in the summer months when the days are much longer than just a few hundred miles South in London. Unfortunately these sunny days are far outnumbered by days filled with rain, haar (sea mist/fog) and biting cold wind. In particular visitors should be aware of the cold wind that frequently whips through the city, often making even the sunniest of days feel chilly.
A tourist wanting to plan for an Edinburgh visit needs to be prepared for anything. Whatever the time of year you can end up with four seasons in a day. A short term forecast can give you some warning but a seven or ten day forecast is rarely of much use. Spring 2012 has been a perfect example of this: at the end of March we had blue skies and record-breaking high temperatures; April began with snow and ended up being the wettest April on record!
There are many words I might use to describe the weather in Edinburgh - "reliable" is not one of them.