Scotch mist

Tuesday 17 November 2009, 13:06

Derek Brockway Derek Brockway

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While Scotland football fans were feeling disappointed after losing to Wales on Saturday, I was up in bonnie Scotland enjoying a weekend break in Edinburgh.

Fortunately, I managed to miss the worst of the stormy weather, but despite a little wee sunshine there was a definite chill in the air, so it was a good job I wasn't wearing a kilt!

We often complain about the weather in Wales, and sometimes rightly so, but it's definitely colder North of the border and compared to the Welsh capital - Edinburgh is on average colder and drier than Cardiff.

Most of the rain falls on the Welsh mountains and the Scottish Highlands leaving the Eastern side of England and Scotland much drier.

But when the wind is from the east, Edinburgh can be troubled by sea fog, known locally as 'haar'.

This is formed when moist, warm air crosses the cold waters of the North Sea and the resulting low cloud, mist and sea fog is carried up the Firth of Forth by the wind.

It usually occurs between April and September and can make summer days cool, grey and damp.

Mind you, sometimes you only have to travel a few miles down the road to escape the 'haar' and be in glorious sunshine.

If you're ever out walking in Scotland, watch out for "Scotch mist" which is common in the hills and mountains.

It's a combination of thick mist (or fog) and heavy drizzle and is associated with a moist tropical maritime airstream.

Because of the tiny water droplets it can soak you in a matter of minutes.

So, if you're thinking of heading to Scotland for a walking holiday, go prepared: pack a jumper and the waterproofs just in case.

Oh and don't forget the midges!


Met Office article on the climate of Eastern Scotland

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