Shetland : Wild and rugged, is that just Jimmy Perez? The climate of the windy remote islands
Blog by Jo Farrow
20th March 2019 10:00

Shetland : Wild and rugged, is that just Jimmy Perez? The climate of the windy remote islands

If you were watching the series finale last night of Shetland you may be missing the windswept islands, Jimmy Perez in his grim dark coat, bumbling Sandy and the ever-changing weather. That scene on the beach, with the body bags and the gale blowing all the sand along. Tosh’s ponytail whipping about as she braced herself, back to the wind. Is it ever calm and warm?

Not that often is the answer but there are other plus points. We were treated to a quick view of the Northern Lights, the aurora dancing across the skies when it wasn’t cloudy. Often it's grey and it never seems that warm, or is that just Jimmy’s coat? If you are thinking of a visit to the Northern Isles, don't call it 'the Shetlands'. It is Shetland or the Shetland Islands, same for Orkney.

What is the climate of Shetland like?

This time of year, average temperatures are around 6C and even in August, the average is still only 14.5C.

The all-time maximum records are just into the low 20s C so around 70 Fahrenheit. In other parts of the UK, the summer average is well up into the 20sC with all time maximums in the mid 30sC.

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The average wind speed early in the year is around 20mph, that is fresh breeze, on average. It’s a remote set of islands, it's windy. May, June and July should be the drier months, but we know how the UK weather likes to buck a trend. This example shows the average winds for March, Shetland is dark blue, very windy. 

Data from the UK Met Office

The sunshine amounts vary greatly. The average sunshine in December is only 18 hours for the whole month but by May it is up to 181 hours. In June it can barely go dark, often just for a few hours. As the islands are so far north, around midsummer there is a summer twilight, the simmer dim. The contrast summer to winter is huge.

Data from the UK Met Office

It’s not going to be a hot holiday with a tan (but you should be wearing sunscreen away), pack for all weathers but there’s lot to discover, those beaches and clear blue waters, the wildlife and a brisk breeze on the ferries between the islands. Spot the location from the series and nip out the back door of The Lounge. This time of year, it’s dark enough to see the Aurora, keep an eye on the Shetland webcams for a glimpse from afar. Shetland should no longer be in a box on maps, so you can truly appreciate how far away it is.

So, hoorah for Tosh meeting a good guy and dubious Duncan keeping Jimmy company as women across the nation cheer that Perez is still single. Everyone get out of that wind (and if there is one), til next time.

Lerwick Forecast -7 day

Shetland website


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