Climate trends and projections

UPDATE: More recent observations of the impacts of climate change in Scotland have been provided by the Met Office than those contained in the Summary for Scotland resource below. The following information is correct as of March 2024.

Scotland's 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1997. The average temperature for the last decade (2014-2023) was 1.02°C warmer than the 1961-1990 average, and the warmest year on record was 2022.

There has been an increase in rainfall over Scotland in the past few decades. The annual average rainfall in the last decade (2014-2023) was 10% wetter than the 1961-1990 average, with winters 29% wetter.

Mean sea level around the UK has risen by approximately 18.5cm from the start of the 20th century and the rate of sea level rise has increased over the last 30 years.

We are already seeing evidence of a changing climate in Scotland. Over the last few decades our climate has warmed, rainfall patterns have changed, and sea-levels have risen. The weather extremes we experience are also changing with our hottest days getting hotter and our wettest days getting wetter.

Climate projections indicate that the changes we have already experienced in our climate, over the last century, will continue and intensify over the coming decades. Ultimately the amount of change that occurs will depend on how successful we are in reducing greenhouse gas emissions globally.

Key long-term climate change trends for Scotland are:

  • Average temperatures will increase across all seasons
  • Weather will remain variable and may become more variable
  • Typical summers will be warmer and drier
  • Typical winters will be milder and wetter
  • Intense, heavy rainfall events will increase in both winter and summer
  • Sea levels will rise
  • Reduced frost and snowfall

Find out more about how Scotland's climate could change - take a look at our Climate Projections Summary for Scotland below or download the summary here.

Climate Projections for Scotland Summary