Sunday, April 06, 2008

A maritime climate

Scotland has a maritime climate. Although it stretches from 54 degrees North at the Mull of Galloway in the SW to 60 degrees North at Muckle Flugga in Shetland in the NE, we do not get a great deal of snow. This is because the prevailing wind comes from the SW as does the warm sea current, the Gulf stream. Otherwise we would be frozen solid in winter and not enjoy our winter sea kayaking.

However, if the wind swings to the north we get snow, like this morning!

This was the 31st of May in 1978 at Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms. As you would expect from the time of year, children are paddling in the loch. However, the previous weekend the wind had come in from the north and resulted in a huge dump of snow. We skied late that year!

One model of Global warming is that the Gulf stream might switch off, in which case we will be, paradoxically, frozen in winter in a warmer world.