Arran weather forecast and information on what to expect if you are planning to visit the Isle of Arran
Stormy Weather at Lochranza
What can be said about the weather that you are likely to encounter if you visit the Isle of Arran? Well like much of Scotland the best description is probably 'changeable'. The old adage that says 'If you don't like the weather, then wait for 15 minutes and more will come along' rings true.
The picture above shows very wild weather at Lochranza. However the picture further down the page was take the next day from a similar place and shows a flat calm.
Saying that, we get milder weather than much of Scotland and less frost and snow. Even after the very cold winter of 2009-10 the lowest temperature was very low at -9 C, but compared to many other places who were down as low as -20 C it was still not that bad (honestly!)
The Arran weather can be very different between the East and the West of the Island. Weather stations at Kilpatrick on the West and at Brodick Castle on the East showed :-
We are based at Lochranza in the far North so how do we compare? Well probably somewhere between the two, but with the big hills on 3 sides of us we are often more sheltered from the worst of the winds.
Lochranza Castle reflection
Overnight frosts are still a possibility and don't rule out snow for the first half of Spring.
By April it should be starting to warm up and as the clocks will have changed to British Summertime the evenings will be lengthening.
The warmest Spring day in 2009 was 23 degrees but the lowest temperature was -1.5 C
The total rainfall was 220mm. Winds were predominantly from the South East and West with an average of 7mph but a maximum of 46mph.
The warmest weather of the year should now be with us though evenings can still be chilly, but by late June the sun will not set until after 10:00pm.
The warmest Summer day of 2009 was 25 C but the coldest night was 2 C.
2009 was also very wet, with August being the wettest month of the year at 200mm of rainfall this compares to just 38mm in June. At least the rain was warmer. Winds were predominantly from the South East and averaged around 5 mph.
Tor Nead, Lochranza
Like all of the UK, the Winter of 2009-10 was the worst for many years. Snow covered the mountains and even the villages for several weeks. We did however get some beautiful, bright days and very little rainfall.
On top of Goatfell the snow was nearly 1 metre deep at times.
Of all the Arran weather periods, Autumn often has some of the nicest days of the year. It is often a lot drier and more settled and as the leaves start to change colour there are some excellent photographs to be taken.
Another benefit is that the midges are not around very much, a relief for us all.
The warmest day of Autumn 2009 was a pleasant 23 C. The winds should still be mainly from the South East and West.
By the end of October the clocks will have gone back and it will be dark much earlier. It is around this time that the whole island seems to be getting ready to go into hibernation for the Winter.
For those of us on the West shore of Lochranza, December is the start of the no sun period. The sun does not get above the hills behind us for about 8 weeks, so we have to go to the other side of the loch to check we still have a shadow.
Winter can often be very cold wet and miserable and only the most hardy of tourists remain. We can still get some lovely days with lots of blue skies and sunshine though.
Temperatures are likely to be in single figures and the winds are often stronger. Down at sea level frosts are not normally that common and in a normal year snow is rare. Up on the hills it will be much colder and a white blanket sometimes covers the hills.