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The climate of the Orkney Islands (Scotland)
The Orkney Islands are also known as the Orcades. This is a large archipelago off the Scottish north coast. This archipelago consists of approximately 200 islands of which 10% is inhabited. The total population in this archipelago is about 20.000. Most of the inhabitants live in Kirkwall which is the capital of Mainland. The Orkney Islands can either be reached by ferry or by plane. Kirkwall airport has flights to several destinations in the UK. The rest of the inhabited islands can be reached by ferry. On the island of North Ronaldsay there is a type of sheep that is named after this island and only feeds on seaweed.
The Orkney archipelago has a cool moderate sea climate. This climate is remarkably mild and stable for this northerly degree of latitude. This is caused by the influence of the Gulf Stream. The average temperature over a year is 8 degrees Celsius. Between 850 to 940 millimeters of precipitation falls on average per year. This climate is characterized by wind that blows virtually constantly during the summer. During the winter strong winds are not uncommon. On the longest day sun rises at 03:00h and sets at 21:29h; it will not become completely dark during this day. On the Northern Islands this dusk is known as dim suddern. Winter nights are very long. On the shortest day sun rises at 09:05h and sets at 15:16h. At this time of year the aurora borealis can be seen at the northern horizon.


Climate information
The figures below are based on long term weather and climate records. They are an average for the Orkney Islands:
Local deviations may occur

temperature (įC)


temperature (įC)
hours of sunshine

average days with precipitation
per month
per month
temperature (įC)
January 6 2 1 24 8
February 6 1 2 19 7
March 7 2 3 21 7
April 9 3 5 17 7
May 12 6 5 16 8
June 14 8 5 16 10
July 15 10 4 17 12
August 15 10 4 18 13
September 14 8 3 21 12
October 12 7 2 22 11
November 8 4 1 23 10
December 7 2 1 23 9
= 0-5 mm ● = 6-30 mm ● = 31-60 mm ● = 61-100 mm ● = 101-200 mm ● = over 200 mm
= 0-0.2 inches ● = 0.2-1.2 inches ● = 1.2-2.4 inches ● = 2.5-4 inches ● = 4.1-8 inches ● = over 8 inches

More climate information
Climate figures are very useful but donít present a general impression of the climate and the eventual weather circumstances within a certain period. The figures donít always reflect the chance of wintry weather, extreme heat or hurricanes. That is why we offer useful extra climate information for each month of the year:

chance of
(very) hot


chance of
(very) cool
chance of

chance of
chance of
sunny days


click here for the explanation of the symbols

The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. ďMore climate infoĒ is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, itís up to the reader to use it to itís benefit.


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