The best times to visit Orkney for ideal weather are

April 9th to April 22nd

or

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

  • Safety
  • The busiest and least popular months
  • Overall travel experience by time of year
  • Weather in Orkney

    Temperature

    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)

    Key
    High
    Average
    Low

    Orkney Temperatures (Celsius)

    Key
    High
    Average
    Low

    “Feels-Like” Temperatures

    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)

    Key
    High
    Average
    Low

    Orkney Perceived Temperature (C)

    Key
    High
    Average
    Low

     

    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.

    Show Fahrenheit

    Month Avg. High (°F) Avg. Mean (°F) Avg. Low (°F)
    Jan 87.9 73.1 62.1
    Feb 87.5 72.1 60.5
    Mar 83.8 68.1 57.1
    Apr 79.3 62.1 48.6
    May 76.8 57.5 41.7
    Jun 69.6 50 34.5
    Jul 69.5 50.1 34.3
    Aug 76.2 57 39.7
    Sep 83.7 65.1 48.4
    Oct 86.7 69.2 54.6
    Nov 86.9 70.5 57.1
    Dec 88.4 72.9 61.3

    Show Celsius

    Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
    Jan 31.1 22.8 16.7
    Feb 30.8 22.3 15.8
    Mar 28.8 20.1 13.9
    Apr 26.3 16.7 9.2
    May 24.9 14.2 5.4
    Jun 20.9 10 1.4
    Jul 20.8 10.1 1.3
    Aug 24.6 13.9 4.3
    Sep 28.7 18.4 9.1
    Oct 30.4 20.7 12.6
    Nov 30.5 21.4 13.9
    Dec 31.3 22.7 16.3

     

    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.

    Key
    Days with precipitation

    Snow on the Ground

    The graph below shows the average snow on the ground in Orkney (in).

    Key
    Snow depth

    Average Rain and Snow by Month

    Show Inches

    Month Daily Chance of Rain Average Snow Depth (in) Total Precipitation (in)
    Jan 31.4 0 0.07
    Feb 30 0 0.06
    Mar 30 0 0.06
    Apr 15.7 0 0.03
    May 7.1 0 0.01
    Jun 5.7 0 0.01
    Jul 1.4 0 0
    Aug 1.4 0 0
    Sep 7.1 0 0.02
    Oct 20 0 0.03
    Nov 27.1 0 0.06
    Dec 37.1 0 0.1

    Show Centimeters

    Month Daily Chance of Rain Average Snow Depth (cm) Total Precipitation (cm)
    Jan 31.4 0 0.18
    Feb 30 0 0.15
    Mar 30 0 0.15
    Apr 15.7 0 0.08
    May 7.1 0 0.03
    Jun 5.7 0 0.03
    Jul 1.4 0 0
    Aug 1.4 0 0
    Sep 7.1 0 0.05
    Oct 20 0 0.08
    Nov 27.1 0 0.15
    Dec 37.1 0 0.25

     

    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.

    Key
    Avg. Relative Humidity

    Wind

    The graph below shows wind speed (max and average) in knots.

    Key
    Max Sustained Wind
    Average Daily Wind

    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
    Jan 50.1
    Feb 45
    Mar 47.4
    Apr 46.5
    May 35.1
    Jun 35.3
    Jul 28.4
    Aug 21.1
    Sep 21.9
    Oct 31.2
    Nov 35.4
    Dec 45.1

     

    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

    Key
    Tourists Seeking Accommodations

    Tourism graph is based on Google searches for services used by tourists relative to the rest of the year. Displayed data is calculated relative to the peak, so a score of 36.5 in December means 36.5% of the tourists vs. June.

    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.