Weather in the year 2000




Royal Deeside, Scotland

A sort of millenium project.......



There has been much debate about the true date of the start of the third millenium Anno Domini. The two principal contestants are 1st January 2000, the first day of the year 2000, and 1st January 2001, the first day after the completion of 2000 years Anno Domini. Here I need take no side and report on the weather in Braemar for the year separating these two dates. Where convenient or informative I also include information for December 1999 and January 2001.


General remarks

They say that all is relative. The year 2000 was generally wet in Braemar, especially the 3 months of Autumn -September, October and November - in which a total of mm of rain fell. However, early in the year there were numerous reports across Britain of serious flooding and at the beginning of November there was serious wide spread flooding across England. Especially badly hit was the south coast, the Severn valley and the north around York. The English summer was regarded as poor but that in Scotland more typical so that - for a change - the best weather appeared to be in Scotland.


Christmas 1999 was one of the wettest on record with a total of 116.2 mm of rain falling in the 4 days 22 - 25 December. (The monthly average for December is .) Indeed the weather on Christmas day was quite severe so that the winds approached gale force and the rain turned to snow leaving a deposit of some 9 cm or 4 in. However, temperatures increased steadily over the next week so that by New year's day the mean temperature was 5 C and the snow had largely disappeared from the village. Much of January was fairly typical with a few gales and cold spell with enough snow to create reasonable skiing conditions at nearby Glenshee. However, between 16th and 21st January a stationary high pressure zone off the west coast of Scotland led to 5 - 6 days of warm, but cloudy, weather with maximum temperatures in excess of 11 C . The last two days of January and the first of February saw snow, then rain to wash away this snow; during this spell a total of 36.0 mm of rain fell.


February started with a week of warm weather with maximum temperatures in excess of 11 C and on the 6th the 30cm soil temperature had risen to 4.3 C (it next achieved this value only in March.) There was a substantial loss of snow from the hills but steadily worsening weather brought more snow, gales and low temperatures (including the coldest night of the winter with minimum -9 C). The lowest 30cm soil temperature (1.9 C) was also recorded during this spell. This cold spell provided enough snow for good ski conditions through to the beginning of March. However, on the 5th March began a prolonged spell of warm weather with maximum temperatures regularly in excess of 10C and the minima on 7th, 8th and 9th in excess of 7 C. This spell effectively ended the ski season.


April started cold but warmed rapidly after about the 20th. It was a wet month. There were two spells of fairly wet weather 1st - 3rd in which 25.6mm fell and 12th -14th in which 32.3mm fell and an even wetter spell 25th-27th in which 45.9mm fell. (During this spell Edinburgh had severe floods which left the Murrayfield Rugby field under several feet of water.) The last two days of April were the start of the finest spell of warm weather for the whole summer. This lasted some 16 days or so. Maximum temperatures several times exceeded 20 C (the highest being 23.2 C on 9th May). Indeed on the 16th may the minimum temperature exceeded 10 C. During this spell over 10 hours of sunshine were regularly recorded (the most sun being 13.9 hours on 13th May). The 30cm soil temperature rose from 6.5 C on 27th April to 11.6 C on 16th May. The weather in the latter half of May was generally poor with maximum temperatures usually between 10 C and 12 C.


June provided a mixed bag of weather. Though fairly dry there were few warm spells.- the best being 16th - 21st June. Only on 3rd June and 16th June did the sunshine exceed 13 hours (14.9 and 13.6 hours respectively). July too was fairly dry but a cloudburst on the afternoon of 22nd July resulted in 37.0mm (roughly 1.5in) falling in just 40 minutes. Much of the rest of the rain for that month was the result of storms on 28th an 29th during which a total of 31.4mm fell. The three days 20 - 22nd July were the hottest three days of the year with the highest temperature of the year (25.3 C) being recorded on 20th July. The storm on the 22nd was the price of this hot weather.


The pleasant weather of late July continued through to the middle of August with temperatures on 6th and 14th August topping 21 C. The highest 30cm soil temperature (15.3 C) was recorded on 15th August. There was another brief spell of warm weather between 23rd and 25th August but thereafter the weather started to feel distinctly autumnal. So that by Saturday 2nd September when the Braemar Gathering and Highland Games were held the maximum temperature was only 12 C on a day that started overcast and wet but slowly improved. The minimum air temperature did not drop below zero at any time during September, although ground frosts were recorded on 5 nights, and the sunshine was slightly higher than average. There was more rain than normal for the month but was largely attributable to one very wet day (20th) and two wet days (12th and 27th) in which 31.3, 17.8 and 13.6mm rain fell (total 62.7mm).


October proved a mild month. Although frosts were recorded on four nights these were very gentle and the minimum air temperature never dropped below -1.4 C. It was a very wet month although much of this rain came in two short periods

10th - 12th when 86.0mm fell (compare with monthly average of 101mm) and

29th when a prolonged gale (but not as strong as experienced in England) resulted in 22.4mm of rain.

This gale started a period of major flooding in various parts of England (and some in Scotland). Braemar missed this heavy rainfall except for 7th and 8th November when 62.5mm fell. Heavy overnight rain turning to snow at the Cairnwell (Glenshee) on the night of 19/20th November led to the snow gates being closed for the first time this winter. Air frost was recorded on only one night in the second half of November and temperature of over 10 C were recorded in the last few days of the month. The continued wet warm weather meant that, taken together, the autumn months of September, October and November were possibly the wettest on record. (This was the case in some places but I don't know the record for Braemar.)


The start of December saw little change and the first two weeks were generally wet and warm. This prolonged spell of warm and wet weather meant that the 30cm soil temperature was above 5.0 C until 15th December. (The temperature on the same day a year earlier was 2.8 C.) However, the 15th saw a change with a sudden drop in temperature. Braemar took on a wintry appearance with snow on the hills and frost at nights. But winter arrived properly on Christmas Eve with snow showers and another drop in temperature. Thus for the fourth time in the last six - and the second successive year - Braemar had a white Christmas. A series of cold days and nights plus a good fall of snow on the night of 28th/29th December meant that the curling ponds were sufficiently frozen to be used in the last few days of the year. This period of cold dry weather was a disappointment for Glenshee where insufficient snow had fallen but not for the Lecht where snow followed by cold weather led to great skiing conditions. The dry spell was also a relief to the many places in England at danger from flood waters.


Hogmanay and the New Year arrived with Braemar still in the grip of snow and ice but with a slight thaw beginning. However, the cold dry weather stayed on for another 3 weeks so that those watching for the lunar eclipse on the evening of 9th January had to dress up warmly. The total rainfall for these 3 weeks was just 27.4mm. The temperature on the night of 16/17 dropped to -12.5 C and the curling pond was again in action. The soil temperatures continued to drop so that by 25th January the 30cm soil temperature was a mere 0.8 C and the 50cm temperature was only 1.4 C (compared with lowest temperatures for year 2000 of 1.9 C and 2.2 C respectively). A continued fall in temperature was likely to start causing widespread frozen water pipes but the air temperature then increased slightly accompanied by 36.6mm rainfall on the two days 22/23rd January. (This proved to be misleading as some 30inches of snow fell in the first week of February, yielding excellent skiing conditions.)


Summary by month of main weather features for Braemar, Scotland for year 2000













Max. temperature C













Min. temperature C













Ave. day Max temp C













Ave. day Min temp C













Average 30cm soil C













Total rainfall (mm)













Total sunshine (hr)















A graphical summary for sunshine...



......and for rainfall.....

Yearly summary:

 Maximum Temperature 25.3 C (= 77.5 F ) Minimum temperature -9.0 C (= 15.8 F )

Total rainfall 1169.5mm (=46.0 in)


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Braemar Weather 2000

Page written by Mike Franklin, Braemar, 26th January 2002

Web : Callater Lodge

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