Otter Lodge Blog: Skye Weather

Let’s talk about our favourite topic: the weather.

If you’re looking for drama and atmosphere, Skye’s the the place. Because we’re an island, we get battered on all sides by wind and rain.

The strongest, wettest winds are south-westerlies. These come burling across the Atlantic and hit us smack on the side, knocking over sheds and trampolines. They’re the reason why our compost bin has rocks on the lid to hold it down. The sideways rain can work its way through solid walls.

North winds are colder, but kinder. They might bring a spot of hail and snow but they generally don’t blow the doors off. In fact, sea breezes puffing at the front of Otter Lodge are generally welcomed – they usually bring brighter weather. 

A bit of prevailing easterly will cause the folk in Scarborough and Skegness to pack up their deck-chairs, while here on Skye we’ll be basking under a blue sky. If the jet stream in the Atlantic sticks in the right place, we might get a whole month of sunshine. If it doesn’t, we might get a month of drizzle.

The good thing about Skye, and our kayaking pals can attest to this, is that it has a very knobbly coast. In some parts you are only a few kilometers between east and west shores.  If the north wind is making your teeth chatter, just head to a more southerly bit. Conversely, if midges are driving you crazy in on the sheltered coast of Sleat, head to Broadford (well, sometimes it works).

And then there’s the other good, or not so good, thing about Skye: micro-climates. These can be amazingly localised, to the point where our laundry will dry in an afternoon while the Broadford Hotel gets a continuous soaking. Mountains can do funny things.

More seriously, snow in April might be odd when you’re sitting in your car eating an icecream; but a bit more of an issue if you have decided to climb the Cuillins. And don’t expect the weather in the mountains to be the same as Broadford or Portree; things might get a tad more exciting than just losing your umbrella in Somerled Square.

Although it’s fair to say the Misty Isle lives up to its reputation; there are times when the skies over Skye can be astonishing…

…and magical.

What to wear?

Two contrasting approaches to dressing for Skye

We often get asked by guests what they should pack before coming to Skye.

One word: waterproof.

Waterproof jacket. Waterproof trousers. Waterproof boots. Oh, and a drysuit is useful. Look around you and you might also be inspired by Skye’s woolly two and four-legged natives. Woolly hat. Woolly socks. Woolly gloves. Woolly jumper. Under all of this, a t-shirt. And maybe a bikini; just in case the urge comes to dive in the Fairy Pools.

BBC Weather Forecast