RBGE Weather Station
The weather has been recorded in the garden for many years. We have been an official weather station for the Met Office since 1956, with automated data collection since 2010.
Observations are made daily at 09:00 GMT and recorded in the Met Office Database. In 2018 the weather station was moved from the glasshouse lawn to a new location in the Demonstration Garden, to facilitate the construction of the Edinburgh Biomes.
Within the fenced area we record maximum and minimum air temperatures, the grass minimum, soil temperatures at depths of 10cm, 30cm and 100cm, humidity and precipitation (rain or snow) automatically. We manually read additional weather parameters from the roof of the historic Temperate Palm House, which houses a sunshine hours recorder. It also provides a vantage point for monitoring visibility, wind direction and speed.
Click here for the latest weather chart from our station.
Last month's data
December 2019 was a drier and sunnier month than average ; the 52.4 mm of rain and 58.3 hours of sunshine contrasting with the averages of 63 mm and 46 hours. Only 7 days recorded an air frost.
Historic weather data
Past weather charts since January 2009 are available here.
Extreme Weather (January 1959 to December 2018)
Our sunniest month was July 1989 with a total of 263.1 hours (273.6 hrs in a 31 day period over July/August 1989).
The sunniest year was 1995 with 1668.1 hours (117% of average) and our sunniest day was the 25th May 2013 with 16.2 hours.
In contrast our dullest year was 1983 with only 1230.8 hours of sunshine (86% of average) and our dullest month was December 1978, with only 16.8 hrs of sunshine.
Our highest maximum temperature, 30ºC, was recorded on the 5th of August 1975 and the lowest minimum air temperature, -15.5ºC, on the 11th of January 1982.
The warmest 12 month period ended in May/June 2007 (10.77ºC average air temperature) and the coolest in November 1979 (7.98ºC).
The wettest day was the 26th July 1985 with 82.1mm of rain over a 24hr period. The wettest month was August 2008 with 202.1mm; 326% of the average for August! (231.1mm in a 31 day period in July/August 2008). December 2010 brought the thickest layer of snow with 22cm at RBGE (though it was a lot higher in other parts of Edinburgh). The previous record had been 8cm on several occasions. The longest "snow free" period (i.e. where no snow was recorded at 09:00 GMT) was from March 2006 to February 2009, almost three years. The wettest year was 2012 with a total 959.2mm of rain (1032.8mm in 12 months in 2012/2013 or 143% of the average).
Our driest year was in 1959 when we only had 436.2mm of rain (61% of the average), and the driest month was February 1993 with just 3.7mm (however, there was only 1.2mm of rain in a 31 day period in July/August 1995).
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