We've been in living in Nairn for just over six months and I wanted to start recording some thoughts on how different things are here ... before they stop being.
So to start out let's talk about the weather as it was the most common thing people commented on before we moved up here with people asking how we'd cope with the cold and the rain. And the news on the weather is good. The thing we had read about, but hadn't really appreciated, is that Nairn's weather is odd in that it's both warmer and a lot drier that other parts of northern Scotland.
There seem to be three factors at play. Firstly we're protected from the rain by the mountains to the west of us. So if you watch the rain radar with the rain coming in on the prevailing wind it rains hard over the highlands and by the time it gets to the end of the Great Glen and dumps the last of its load on Inverness it's run out of steam.
The second factor is altitude. We're on the coast so the town is only a few metres above the sea. We're on high ground here and we're only about 20m up. That seems to have two effects. For a start the rain clouds seem prefer to skirt around the town and rain on the low hills behind. Secondly temperature is partially a function of altitude: there's a reason why Braemar, at 340m, is often the coldest place in the UK.
The third factor is the Moray Firth, being close to the sea provides the thermal lag of that great mass of water.
My friend Andrew, who was brought up just down the road at Elgin, says his dad always called this the Costa del Moray and I can see why.
So the bottom line is that although it's not as warm as Cambridge we only get about the same rainfall. Neither of us are great fans of extreme heat and this summer suited us very well, I even got into shorts for a while.
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