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Royal Deeside : Summary of weather in Braemar

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Although Braemar is officially the coldest place in Britain, the winter temperatures when compared to other places of the same latitude - such as Moscow - are relatively warm. This is because much of Britain's weather is controlled by the Gulf Stream. These warm wet winds act to keep Scotland cool in summer and warm in winter. They also bring most of the rainfall on westerly/ south westerly winds. Braemar and Royal Deeside are protected from much of the wet weather by being in shelter of the Cairngorm Mountains. Moreover, at an altitude of 1100 feet Braemar does not suffer the sea mists of eastern Britain. Overall, despite its relative coolness there is much to recommend about the climate here.

On this page the weather in Braemar is summarised.

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Heavy falls of snow are not uncommon in Braemar

The chart below shows the monthly average temperatures based on the daily maxima, mean and minima. Typically for the warmest month (July) the daytime temperature reaches a maximum of 17.6 C and the nighttime temperature will fall to 8.5 C. In the coldest month (January) the typical maximum and minimum figures are 3.7 C and -2.3 C. (Note: 0 C = 32 F; 20 C = 68 F.)

Braemar Temperatures

The variation in temperature is closely related to the hours of daylight although there is a lag of about one month so that, for example, the sunniest month is June and the warmest month is July. Braemar being very northerly, there is a marked difference between the lengths of the shortest and longest days. Thus the most sun recorded on any day in June is over 15 hours but the most sun on any day in December is only 3.7 hours. The averages for the total amount of sunshine recorded in a month for June and December are 174 and 20 hours respectively i.e. sunshine for June is over eight and a half times that for December.

Braemar sunshine

The amount of sunshine recorded in Braemar is greatly affected by the hills surrounding the village. It is likely that (observed from the village) on sunny days the sun rises about an hour later and sets about an hour earlier because of the hills.

Because much of the rain affecting Scotland come from Westerly and South-Westerly winds blowing off the Atlantic and because of the hills protecting Braemar, the rainfall is not as great as would be expected for a town further to the west of Scotland. Total rainfall averages 890mm (35in) with the winter months being somewhat wetter than the summer months.

Braemar rainfall

Of course, in winter some of the precipitation comes in the form of snow. Braemar, in fact, sits between two of Scotland's ski resorts, Glenshee 8 miles (13km) to the south and the Lecht 24 miles (39km) to the north. Snowfalls can be expected in the village anytime between about the start of November and the end of April but, except during the months of January through to March, the snow would not normally stay for more than about a few hours. The ski slopes, being somewhat higher than Braemar, can usually offer skiing from mid-January through to mid-March although the length and quality of the ski seasons vary markedly from year to year.

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