12 March 2011

Myth Busters, Episode I: Scotland Weather

I've decided to start another periodic theme post: Myth Busters. Some of the things that we discussed in our program orientation when we first got to Scotland were the preconceived notions that we had had before arriving, but as I learned from that discussion and continue to discover day by day, rumored reputations are not always correct. Of course, this is all just my opinion, but as an educated resident here, I feel that I am beginning to get a handle on how things work. For our first edition:

MYTH: Scotland is FREEZING!/It rains constantly in the British Isles!

Well, in simple terms, this is just untrue. Actually, the temperature, at least for the months that I've been here, has stayed at a pretty steady 40ºF, with variances of only a few degrees, usually staying above freezing even at night. The thing is that it doesn't get much warmer, either - 50º a couple of weeks ago felt like a heat wave! - so many of my fellow classmates, who are from the South, are constantly cold. (You'd think that they would get used to it by now...?)

It definitely doesn't rain all of the time, either. Edinburgh's location on a river rather than sea and on the West as opposed to East coast of Scotland actually keeps it drier than many cities in the Isles. That said, there is apparently a saying in Scotland that, "You can experience all four seasons in one day," and especially these past few days, I have found that to be true!

For instance, when I woke up to get ready for work Thursday, I saw horizontal rain outside my window (because the wind was blowing that hard.) By the time I'd gotten ready to make my then-dreaded walk, though, it was sunny outside - to the point that, as I left the house, I considered turning around and getting my sunglasses. I'm glad that I decided against it, though, as on my less-than-20-minute journey, I experienced both crippling wind and pouring rain. Luckily, I was getting inside just as the drizzle was turning to heavy rain - and when I looked out the window a few hours later, it was literally HAILING! I then hustled to the bus stop to go to class in fair weather, but when I got to class, there was a whole new palette of weather patterns on the plate: not only rain but snow, sleet, and sunshine. Phew.

In conclusion, Edinburgh weather is generally pretty calm and steady - but when it rains, it pours. HAHA - that is to say, when it gets crazy, it gets CRAZY! Anyway, I have learned whilst living here that there is no such thing as "bad weather" - only poor clothing choices or ill-preparedness!


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