Scotland has a ‘temperate’ climate. Places with a temperate climate have four seasons; spring, summer, autumn and winter. The weather can be very unpredictable in a temperate climate. In Scotland it can be rainy, sunny, windy, cold and hot all in one day!
In a temperate climate the temperature varies a lot between different seasons. Temperatures can typically vary between a very cold –10°C, and a hot 30°C.
Scotland has a ‘cold temperate’ climate like much of northwest Europe. There are other temperate climate zones around the world. Photo of mountains in New Zealand For instance, the country of New Zealand also has a ‘cold temperate’ climate even though it is on the other side of the world from Scotland.
Scotland and the Gulf Stream Scotland would be much colder if it wasn’t warmed by the ‘Gulf Stream’. The Gulf Stream is a current of warm water that moves from the Gulf of Mexico across the Atlantic Ocean towards Great Britain. It travels at a speedy 97 km per day and moves 100 times as much water as all the rivers on Earth. SeaWIFS Gulf Stream satellite photo. http://visibleearth.nasa.gov Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE
Since it travels from a warm climate, the Gulf Stream carries warmer water to the cooler North Atlantic. This means that the British Isles are warmer than they would be otherwise. As a result of this, the Gulf Stream helps to protect Scotland from severe winters. Scotland satellite photo. http://visibleearth.nasa.gov Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE
Scotland is as far north as Hudson's Bay in North America, where the sea freezes in winter. Thousands of species of exotic plants flourish at Inverewe Garden in Wester Ross, which is farther north than Moscow where winter temperatures regularly fall to -20ºC. The Gulf Stream gives Scotland a warmer climate. Photo of tree fern in Inverewe Gardens, Scotland
Images throughout made available under Creative Commons license, published on Flickr by chilsta, The Poss, NASA satellite photos. http://visibleearth.nasa.gov Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE