The best times to visit Orkney for ideal weather are
February 19th to April 29th
September 3rd to November 25th
based on average temperature and humidity from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Read below for more weather and travel details.
Orkney Travel Guide
Weather in Orkney
Average temperatures in Orkney vary greatly. Considering humidity, temperatures feel nice most of the year, excluding some cold weeks in the winter, with a very low chance of rain or snow throughout the year. The area is more temperate than most — in the 68th percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide. Weeks with ideal weather are listed above. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Orkney, the hottest months are January, December, and then February. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally early January where highs are regularly around 89.4°F (31.9°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 61.5°F (16.4°C) at night.
Orkney Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Orkney Temperatures (Celsius)
The way we experience weather isn’t all about temperature. Higher temperatures affect us much more at higher humidity, and colder temperatures feel piercing with high winds. Our perceived temperatures factor in humidity and wind chill to better represent how hot or cold the day feels to a person.
Orkney Perceived Temperature (F)
Orkney Perceived Temperature (C)
Average Orkney Temperatures by Month
Daily highs (averaged for the month) usually give the best indication of the weather. A significantly lower mean and low generally just means it gets colder at night.
|Month||Avg. High (°F)||Avg. Mean (°F)||Avg. Low (°F)|
|Month||Avg. High (°C)||Avg. Mean (°C)||Avg. Low (°C)|
Precipitation (Rain or Snow)
If dry weather is what you’re after, the months with the lowest chance of significant precipitation in Orkney are May, August, and then July. Note that we define “significant precipitation” as .1 inches or more in this section. The lowest chance of rain or snow occurs around mid January. For example, on the week of January 15th there are no days of precipitation on average. By contrast, it’s most likely to rain or snow in mid to late November with an average of 1 days of significant precipitation the week of November 19th.
When can you find snow in Orkney? Weather stations report no annual snow. Please note that a value of 0 for snow in the graph below may either mean there was no snow, or that snow is unreported.
The graph below shows the % chance of rainy and snowy days in Orkney.
Snow on the Ground
The graph below shows the average snow on the ground in Orkney (in).
Average Rain and Snow by Month
|Month||Daily Chance of Rain||Average Snow Depth (in)||Total Precipitation (in)|
|Month||Daily Chance of Rain||Average Snow Depth (cm)||Total Precipitation (cm)|
Humidity and Wind
Orkney has some comfortably humid months, and dry months in the opposite season. The least humid month is September (22.2% relative humidity), and the most humid month is March (50.1%).
Wind in Orkney is usually calm. The windiest month is September, followed by October and August. September’s average wind speed of around 5.4 knots (6.2 MPH or 10 KPH) is considered “a light breeze.” Maximum sustained winds (the highest speed for the day lasting more than a few moments) are at their highest in mid November where average top sustained speeds reach 11.8 knots, which is considered a moderate breeze.
Relative Humidity (%)
The graph below shows the average % humidity by month in Orkney.
The graph below shows wind speed (max and average) in knots.
Average Wind Speeds
Show Wind Speeds
All wind speeds are in knots. 1 knot = 1.15 MPH or 1.85 KPH.
|Month||Avg. Wind||Avg. Wind Feel||Sustained High Wind||High Wind Feel|
|Jan||4.1||Light breeze||8.3||Gentle breeze|
|Feb||4||Light breeze||8.2||Gentle breeze|
|Mar||3.7||Barely noticeable||7.4||Gentle breeze|
|Apr||3.5||Barely noticeable||6.8||Light breeze|
|May||3.9||Barely noticeable||7||Gentle breeze|
|Jun||4.1||Light breeze||7.4||Gentle breeze|
|Jul||4.4||Light breeze||7.8||Gentle breeze|
|Aug||5.2||Light breeze||9.1||Gentle breeze|
|Sep||5.4||Light breeze||9.8||Gentle breeze|
|Oct||5.3||Light breeze||9.9||Gentle breeze|
|Nov||4.8||Light breeze||10.2||Gentle breeze|
|Dec||4.5||Light breeze||8.9||Gentle breeze|
Show Relative Humidity by Month
|Month||Avg. Relative Humidity|
Is it Safe to Travel to Orkney?
Our best data indicates this area is somewhat safe. As of Jan 18, 2018 there are travel warnings for South Africa; exercise a high degree of caution. Check this page for any recent changes or regions to avoid: Travel Advice and Advisories
The Busiest and Least Crowded Months
The busiest month for tourism in Orkney, South Africa is June, followed by March and July. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. Tourists are unlikely to visit Orkney in December. Those willing to visit at these times will likely find it the least expensive month.
Estimated Tourism by Month
Most Popular Months to Visit
Overall Orkney Travel Experience by Season
Fall (March through May)
Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel moderate. Highs range from 84.5°F (29.2°C) and 70.6°F (21.4°C) with colder temperatures in the later months. Rain is rare with 0 to 3 days of significant precipitation per month. Fall is the second busiest for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for things to do.
Winter (June through August)
The middle-year months have cold weather with high temperatures that are comfortable. These months see the least precipitation with 0 to 1 days of precipitation per month. June – August is the busiest season for tourism in Orkney, so lodging and other accommodations may cost more than usual.
Spring (September through November)
Spring daily highs range from 86.9°F (30.5°C) and 81.4°F (27.4°C), which will feel very nice given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a normal amount: 1 to 3 days per month. Tourism is the slowest during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be affordably priced.
Summer (December through February)
Weather is perfect this time of year in Orkney to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 89.4°F (31.9°C) and 84.5°F (29.2°C). On average, it rains or snows a smalll amount: 1 to 4 times per month. These times of year are fairly slow with tourists.