If I had to describe the Islay Weather in one or two words it would be changeable, and unpredictable too! You often hear folk say we have four seasons in a day and quite regularly that is the case. I have witnessed days where the morning started off with gales and a high swell in Loch Indaal. And that same day offered a stunning sunset over a totally calm loch. Two extremes in one day. And in winter you can have horrible showers with gales and hail with calm sunny periods in between. Islay weather is just like that!
Islay Weather through the Seasons
Spring often starts cold with wintry showers and sometimes bitterly cold Northerly winds. However, when spring progresses the days get longer, and warmer. Mid April to end of June are often the most beautiful and sunniest months on the island. Summer offers a bit more cloudy, but in general warmer weather compared to spring. Rain is always a thing on Islay though. Although spring and summer are drier than autumn and winter it will rain. But you probably heard the saying “No Rain – No Whisky”!
The autumn can offer beautiful sunny days as well as windy and rainy weather. And this will deteriorate when winter arrives. The period from November to end of March is typically the time when winter storms occur. For those enjoying magical light, big swells and don’t mind showers and rain from time to time are in for a treat. Winter is also a time for the Northern Lights, although they are not often visible with the naked eye. Snow hardly falls and when it does, it’s usually gone by lunch time.
The average min temps vary from 3 Celsius in January to 11 Celsius in August. The average max temps vary from 7 Celsius in January to 16 in August. Due to the relatively high humidity the weather generally has a bit warmer feel to it, especially when there’s little wind.
Islay Daylight hours
Due to its northerly position Islay has relatively short days in winter and many daylight hours in summer:
- January Sunrise 9am, Sunset 4pm, 7 hours daylight
- April Sunrise 7am, Sunset 8pm, 13 hours daylight
- July Sunrise 4.30am, Sunset 10pm, 17.5 hours daylight
- October Sunrise 7.30am, Sunset 7pm, 11.5 hours of daylight
Tip! If you fancy a stunning sunrise you might want to consider visiting Islay from August to April. If you want to catch a proper sunrise between May and July you really need to wake up early!
When is a good time to visit Islay
Weather wise any month is a good month to visit Islay. Each time of the year has it’s own special character. For walking, cycling, sunbathing and sightseeing I would say April to August, with a slight preference for May and June. For dramatic light, wave watching, northern lights and stormy weather November to March are better suited. More about this on our Islay FAQ page.
But you know what they say on Islay? If you don’t like the weather wait five minutes. And that pretty much sums it up!
Current and Forecast Islay Weather
Islay Sunset Prints
The best part of the weather, and the most beautiful one, is often the stunning sunrise or sunset. Below are a few samples of what you can expect on Islay.
A Portnahaven Sunset£28.00 – £48.00 Select options
After Sunset£33.00 – £53.00 Select options
December Sunset£28.00 – £48.00 Select options
Dusk Loch Gorm£28.00 – £48.00 Select options
Flowers Coastal Path£28.00 – £48.00 Select options
November Evening in Port Ellen£35.00 – £48.00 Select options
November Sunset£28.00 – £48.00 Select options
Port Wemyss Rainbow£28.00 – £48.00 Select options