Does it snow in Scotland?

Does it snow in Scotland? The short answer is yes! Although, we are sure: you want to know more than that.

Located in the north of the island of Great Britain and occupying approximately a third of the said island, Scotland, the second largest country of the four that make up the United Kingdom, is undoubtedly an ideal tourist destination for lovers of green landscapes, lakes, islands, old castles and, in general, a fascinating medieval historical atmosphere.

Scotland is one of the countries in Western Europe with the most significant number of castles: approximately 3,000. This impressive figure is due to the type of sectarian social grouping (by clans) that the Scots put into practice since the birth of that nation.

Despite being made up mostly of continental territory, in other words, by that territory that is part of the Island of Great Britain, Scotland also has more than 790 islands under its government control. However, of these 790 islands, only 130 are inhabited.

Since time immemorial, the Scots have shown little expansionist behavior. On the contrary, they tend to be concentrated in specific places; Glasgow is a clear example. Although Glasgow is not the capital of Scotland, it is the largest municipal area in terms of population.

Due to its beautiful landscapes and magical-medieval charm without equal, Scotland is one of the countries with the highest number of tourists in Europe. It is not for nothing that tourism is considered to be the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and, therefore, one of the most solid and leading industries in the country.

Visit Scotland and enjoy its many tourist attractions, such as Eilean Donan Castle, the Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye, the Glenfinnan Viaduct, Saint Andrews Castle and Cathedral, the mythical Loch Ness and its surroundings, the beautiful Valley of Glen Coe, Stirling Castle and Town, Dunnottar Castle, and the fascinating city of Inverness.


    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Snow in Scotland?

    Snow in Scotland

    Due to its mountainous topography, especially in the north of the country, Scotland boasts a wide climatological range. It's especially noticeable in annual rainfall, ranging from 180.196 inches in the western Highlands Mountain ranges to 34.252 inches on Scotland's east coast.

    The northwest coast of Scotland sees around 265 days of rain per year, while the southeast only gets 170 days of precipitation per year.

    As with the rainfall, higher elevation regions, mainly mountain peaks, in Scotland experience a surprising number of snow days per year.

    Although there are no precise and regular records on the accumulation of snowfall in Scotland, because they occur mainly in uninhabited places and far from the main cities, it is known that, on average, the snowiest places in the country receive between 36 and 105 days of snowfall per year.

    In this sense, snowstorms are not a phenomenon unrelated to the history of Scotland. Indeed, this country experienced a moderate snowstorm recently during the winter of 2020-2021. At the end of the snow season, up to 177.165 inches of the snowpack was recorded in West Highlands.

    Thus, answering the question at hand. Yes! It snows in Scotland, especially in the northwest mountains of the country (West Highlands), such as Cairngorm and Glencoe Mountain. Although, light snowfall is also possible along the west coast of Scotland for a few days during the winter.

    The climate of Scotland


    General characteristics

    According to the Köppen climate classification, counting types and subtypes, Scotland exhibits four types of climates throughout its territory: Oceanic (Cfb), Subpolar oceanic (Cfc), Subarctic (Dfc), and Tundra (Et).

    Map of the climates of Scotland

    According to the map above, Scotland has a mostly Oceanic (Cfb) and Subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc). In other words, generally, its summers are humid, not very hot, and short (or even shorter and colder in its subarctic [Cfc] version), while its winters are cool or mild.

    Likewise, all seasons have a rainy season (either moderate or intense), so it is not surprising that countries or cities with this type of climate are overly humid.


    Technical characteristics 

    Some of the following technical characteristics have been calculated by averaging climatological data for the six major cities of Scotland: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Stirling, Dundee, and Aberdeen. 

    • Climate types (Köppen climate classification):
      • Oceanic (Cfb).
      • Subpolar oceanic (Cfc).
      • Subarctic (Dfc).
      • Tundra (Et).
    • Average maximum temperatures in winter: 44.58 °F (6.9 °C).
    • Average maximum temperatures in spring: 56.67 °F (13.7 °C).
    • Average maximum temperatures in fall: 51.33 °F (10.7 °C).
    • Average maximum temperatures in summer: 63.44 °F (17.4 °C).
    • Average minimum temperatures in winter: 34.46 °F (1.3 °C).
    • Average minimum temperatures in spring: 42.94 °F (6 °C).
    • Average minimum temperatures in fall: 40.38 °F (4.6 °C).
    • Average minimum temperatures in summer: 49.89 °F (9.9 °C).
    • Range of average annual rainfall: 196 inches / 497 cm (West Highlands) – 34.252 inches / 86.8 cm (East Coast of Lothian, Fife, Angus, and Aberdeenshire).

    When does it snow in Scotland? 🌨

    Snow in Strathaven (Scotland)
    Snow in Strathaven (Scotland).

    Does it snow in Scotland in November?

    Yes, it might snow in November. Minimally measurable snowfall is possible at the major airports in Aberdeen City and Inverness City: Aberdeen International Airport and Inverness Dalcross Airport respectively.

    Does it snow in Scotland in December?

    Yes, it might snow in December. Once winter sets in, it is possible to enjoy the five main Ski Resorts in Scotland: Glencoe Mountain (Glencoe, Highland), Glenshee Ski Center (Aberdeenshire), Nevis Range (Highlands), Cairngorm Mountain (Highland), and Lecht 2090 (Moray).

    Does it snow in Scotland in January?

    Yes, it does! During this month, the now season remains active in the higher areas of Scotland.

    Does it snow in Scotland in February?

    Yes, it might snow in February. In exceptional cases, such as the winter season 2020-2021, it is possible to see measurable and moderate snowfall in February.

    Does it snow in Scotland in March?

    Yes, it might snow in March. However, even under the best conditions, snowfall this month will average no more than a half-inch accumulation, even in far northern Scotland.

    Does it snow in Scotland in April?

    Yes, it might snow in April. Although, the chances of this happening are slim. Even if it did, this snowfall would be minimally measurable.

    Where does it snow in Scotland? 🌨

    Below, we present a map of the territorial division of the state of Scotland in which the distribution of snowfall in the thirty-two council areas that make up the country is roughly exemplified:

    Map of the territorial division of the state of Scotland with snowfalls

    1. In this case, the darker the blue color, the higher the average snow accumulation for the county in its snowiest month (January).
    2. This map is not an exact definition but rather an approximation of the behavior of snowfall in Scotland since only specific locations are taken into account and not all the cities and towns that make up the council area at the time of its creation.
    3. For the purposes of this map, the dark gray color represents the unknown behavior of snowfall in that region.

    How much does it snow in Scotland? 🌨

    Next, we expose a comparison chart of the average snow accumulation throughout a sliding 31-day period (centered on the day in question) in thirteen of the thirty-two council areas that make up Scotland:

    Council areaLocationJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
    Glasgow CityGlasgow0,80,40,400000000,10,4
    AberdeenshireAberdeen International Airport0,60,60,40,10000000,20,4
    EdinburghEdinburgh Airport0,50,30,40,10000000,10,2
    ShetlandScatsa Airport0,50,40,40,10000000,10,6
    OrkneyKirkwall Airport0,40,20,40,100000000,3
    Argyll and ButeOban Airport0,30,10,4000000000,1
    HighlandWick Airport0,30,30,40,10000000,10,5
    South AyrshirePrestwick Airport0,20,10,40,100000000,1
    Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles)Stornoway Airport0,20,20,400000000,10,2
    Dumfries and GallowayWest Freugh0,10,10,4000000000,1
    Argyll and ButeMachrihanish Meteorological Station0,10,10,4000000000,1
    1. The numbers shown in the table above represent inches.
    2. Although snowfall has been recorded in the remaining 19 council areas, these have not been included in the table because there is no record (and if there is, we do not know) of snowfall accumulation in those regions.
    Go up

    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. More information.