World Wide Weather #2: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted in Non-US Weather, Weather News at 9:48 am by Rebekah

Last Tuesday I started a series of posts on global weather, focusing on current weather and climate of places around the world.  The inaugural post took a look at Perth, Australia.

This week’s featured city is Edinburgh, Scotland, in the United Kingdom (click for a Yahoo! maps link).

Edinburgh, Scotland. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Situated in southeast Scotland, near the North Sea, Edinburgh is home to nearly 500,000 people (about 1.2 million in the metro).  Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and the second most popular tourist destination in the UK, behind London.  A few facts about Edinburgh (climate data from Weatherbase):

  • Time zone: Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0) or British Summer Time (UTC+1)
  • Elevation: ~135 ft above mean sea level
  • Climate zone: Maritime (warm/moist summers, cool/wet winters)
  • Average high temperature: 53 °F (11 °C)
  • Average low temperature: 41 °F (5 °C)
  • Record high temperature: 88 °F (31 °C)
  • Record low temperature: 1 °F (-17 °C)
  • Average annual precipitation: 26 inches (663 mm)

Current weather: This afternoon it is raining in Edinburgh, with a temperature of  38 °F (3.2 °C) as of 3pm local time.  The pressure is 987 mb and falling.  Not far north of the city it is snowing, and as cold air surges southward, the snow is expected to be heavy over parts of Scotland and Ireland.

The following shows a radar image  (from the UK Met Office) at 3pm local time:

This rain and snow is associated with an extratropical cyclone that is making landfall on the Irish and British coasts.  I can’t find any very good current surface maps of the UK, but here’s a 9-hr model run (initialized at 06Z and valid at 15Z, or 3pm local time), showing surface pressure contours (from Weather Online UK).

There is a pretty tight pressure gradient with this storm system, so not only will it bring sub-freezing temperatures to Scotland, but it will bring strong winds (roughly 35 mph in Scotland, 40 to 50 mph in western Scotland and northern Ireland, with gusts to 82 mph) that will blow the snow around and cause blizzard conditions in much of the country.

The UK Met Office (equivalent of the NWS in the US) is forecasting for 40 cm (about 16 inches) of snow or more in the Highlands of Scotland through Wednesday.  The prediction of snow and gale-force winds prompted the UK Met Office to issue an early weather warning on Sunday, for heavy snow and blizzards over much of Scotland (and northern Ireland).  That warning was updated today to an emergency weather warning for severe blizzards, severe drifting snow, and very heavy snowfall.  Obviously, Edinburgh, sitting on the coast, won’t receive as much snow, but the city may still get a few inches that will get blown around in the winds.

Here’s the GFS model (from Weather Online UK) of 6-hr snow accumulation, ending after the heaviest snow through 18Z (7pm local time) on Wednesday.  This map shows a max of 40 – 50 mm of snow over the Highlands from 12Z to 18Z Wednesday.

For more information on Edinburgh, here’s a link to Wikipedia.

For more information on the ongoing blizzard, here’s the BBC weather news page.

For weather maps and information on Edinburgh weather, including the latest weather warnings, see the UK Met Office or Weather Online UK (great collection of weather maps and models for all over the world).

Next Tuesday I’ll take a look at the climate and weather in another part of the globe.  As always, if you have any comments or suggestions for future cities, please leave a comment!

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1 Comment

  1. Green Sky Chaser » World Wide Weather #4: Kochi, India said,

    May 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    […] #2 – Europe (Edinburgh, Scotland) […]