The climate of Edinburgh is cool and moist, cloudy and rainy, being influenced by the ocean. Winter is cold but not freezing, while summer is cool. The wind blows frequently, though less than in northern Scotland, and can be stormy, especially in autumn and winter.
The daily average temperature ranges from 4 °C (39 °F) in January to 15 °C (59 °F) in July and August. Here are the average temperatures.
Edinburgh - Average temperatures
Min (°C)113471011119641
Max (°C)781012151719191713107
Min (°F)343437394550525248433934
Max (°F)454650545963666663555045

Rainfall is frequent but not abundant, and amounts to about 700 millimeters (27.5 inches) per year. This is due to the location of the city on the eastern side of Scotland (in fact, a part of the rains fall on the western side). Here is the average precipitation.
Edinburgh - Average precipitation

Winter, from December to February, is cold, cloudy, windy, and rainy. The average temperature is above freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) even at night, but it's better not to rely too much on the mild winter. In fact, lying at a high latitude, Edinburgh, as the rest of Scotland, is subject to cold waves of polar origin, although they typically do not last long, since after a few days, mild western currents begin to blow again. However, some very cold periods can occur. Furthermore, the wind may increase the feeling of cold, even when the temperature is not too low.
Snowfalls are not abundant, but they are quite frequent, at least on cold winters and on cold periods. Sleet or snow showers can be observed in many occasions, even if the snow does not accumulate on the ground. During the night, light frosts occur quite often, but sometimes, after cold waves, there may be more intense frosts. For example, the temperature reached -17 °C (1 °F) in February 1978 and January 1979, -15 °C (5 °F) in December 1981, -18 °C (0 °F) in January 1982, -12 °C (10 °F) in December 2009, -11 °C (12 °F) in January 2010, and -16 °C (3 °F) in December 2010.
During mild periods, however, the temperature can reach 10/12 °C (50/54 °F) even in winter, and in the months during which the westerlies prevail, the temperature rarely drops below freezing.

Spring, from March to May, is cold or very cool: night temperatures can drop to a few degrees below freezing still in April, and around freezing in May. Typically, the temperature becomes milder in the second half of May. Rain and wind are not absent in this season (it rains for about 10 days a month), although by May, the wind becomes a little less frequent and the sun shines a bit more often. In addition, the days become longer: already in April, the sun sets after 8 p.m., and approximately from June 2 to July 10, the "white nights" occur, that is, it never becomes completely dark.

Summer, from June to August, is cool, or at most mild: maximum temperatures in July and August are on average about 19 °C (66 °F). Atlantic depressions also occur in this season, so there is still a moderate amount of rain. Hot days almost never occur: days with more than 25 °C (77 °F) are a rarity, and the highest records are about 27/28 °C (81/82 °F), not counting the 31 °C (88 °F) recorded exceptionally in August 1975. At night, it can get very cool, or cold: even in midsummer, the night temperature can drop to 7/8 °C (45/46 °F) or even below. In return, the days are very long, and you can take advantage of many hours of light, especially in June and in the first half of July.

Autumn, from September to November, is cloudy, rainy and windy. The sun rarely appears, and it does so less and less over the weeks. The days rapidly shorten: the sun sets at about 7:30 p.m. in mid-September, at about 6 and a quarter in mid-October, and at about 4 p.m. in mid-November.


The amount of sunshine in Edinburgh is scarce in autumn and winter, when the sun is rarely seen. In spring and summer, sunshine is relatively more frequent: from April to August, the sun can sometimes peep through the clouds. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Edinburgh - Sunshine

The sea is cold all year round: in winter, given the latitude, it's relatively mild, since it reaches a minimum of 7 °C (45 °F) in February and March, while in summer, it doesn't go above 14 °C (57 °F) from July to September. Here are the average sea temperatures.
Edinburgh - Sea temperature
Temp (°C)87781012141414131210
Temp (°F)464545465054575757555450

Best Time

The best time to visit Edinburgh is the summer, from June to August. Those who are sensitive to cold may prefer July and August, which are the mildest months; in any case, it's better to bring some warm clothes, like a jacket, a sweatshirt or sweater, as well as a raincoat or an umbrella.