The best times to visit Orkney for ideal weather are
April 9th to April 22nd
September 3rd to October 7th
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 little and are temperate for much of the year. The area is in the top 30 percent of tourist destinations for pleasant weather. 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 67.3°F (19.6°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 45.9°F (7.7°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 precipitation in Orkney are December, January, and then February. The lowest chance of rain or snow occurs around mid-July. For example, on the week of July 16th there are only 0 days of precipitation on average. By contrast, it’s most likely to rain or snow in early-to-mid-December with an average of 2.7 days with significant precipitation the week of December 10th.
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.
Chance of Precipitation
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 far below average humidity compared to most tourist destinations. The least humid month is August (21.1% relative humidity), and the most humid month is January (50.1%).
Wind in Orkney is usually moderate. The windiest month is October, followed by September and November. October’s average wind speed of around 5.7 knots (6.6 MPH or 10.6 KPH) is considered “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 11.7 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.
|Month||Avg. Wind||Meaning (Beaufort)||Avg. Maximum Sustained Wind||Meaning (Beufort)|
|Jan||4.5||a light breeze||8.7||a gentle breeze|
|Feb||4.1||a light breeze||8.2||a gentle breeze|
|Mar||3.8||light air||7.6||a gentle breeze|
|Apr||3.7||light air||7||a gentle breeze|
|May||3.9||light air||6.9||a gentle breeze|
|Jun||4.1||a light breeze||7.5||a gentle breeze|
|Jul||4.4||a light breeze||7.7||a gentle breeze|
|Aug||5.3||a light breeze||9.2||a gentle breeze|
|Sep||5.6||a light breeze||10||a gentle breeze|
|Oct||5.7||a light breeze||10.4||a gentle breeze|
|Nov||5.5||a light breeze||10.5||a gentle breeze|
|Dec||5.1||a light breeze||9.3||a gentle breeze|
Show Relative Humidity by Month
|Month||Avg. Relative Humidity|
Is it Safe to Travel to Orkney?
As of 6/13/2017 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 64.2°F (17.9°C) and 53.6°F (12°C) with colder temperatures in the later months. Rain is somewhat common with 2 to 9 days of precipitation per month. Fall is busy 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 moderate precipitation with 0 to 2 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 65.7°F (18.7°C) and 61.5°F (16.4°C), which will feel very nice given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a fair amount: 2 to 8 days per month. Tourism is the slowest during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be lower 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 67.3°F (19.6°C) and 64.4°F (18°C). On average, it rains or snows a good amount: 8 to 12 times per month. These times of year are fairly slow with tourists.