According to the Met Office, Glasgow enjoys 1350 hours of sunshine per year. If I told you that’s 7410 hours in which the sun definitely isn’t shining, it’s not a reassuring figure. The fact that so far almost every waking hour in October, the month with the highest average rainfall, has been filled with glorious sunshine, illustrates why attempts to prepare for Scottish weather are futile.
“What’s the weather?” The answer seems simple when you look out the window, but appearances can be deceiving. The colour of the sky is but one of a myriad of variables which determine all outfit and activity choices for the day ahead. It can be dreich, with a warm mist; sunny, with a biting wind; blustery, with a chance of extreme hail. One thing you can rely on is your collapsible umbrella, which will inevitably serve intermittent usefulness. But don’t splash out; it will have been destroyed by the wind before you reach your destination.
With Winter drawing in, each day I’ve got my fingers crossed for that blue sky, crisp air, dewy grass combination, at which point my wardrobe can cease being a Summer/Winter hybrid (’t-shirt with coat’/‘jumper with no coat’/‘pumps with socks’/‘gore tex with vest top’), and blossom into the muted wool and cashmere ensemble I’ve been envisaging since mid-September. But beware! All year round extreme dampness threatens to turn a brisk walk into a sweaty nightmare. Since Glasgow’s temperature and relative humidity refuse to work together, wearing a coat in even the coldest of months will place you firmly outside the human comfort zone by the time you reach the library.
Finally, the forecast for this week: the iPhone weather app icon is a cloud with two horizontal lines under it. Slanty rain? Some kind of drenching mist? I google it to find out if a balaclava might be required, but even Yahoo answers leaves its meaning ambiguous.
But always remember, whatever the weather, you can always stick to what you know: stay inside with your PJs on.