CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Debate!

Weather Comparison (Copenhagen and Edinburgh)

(11 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by Wilmington's Cow
  • Latest reply from gembo

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  1. I was reminded by a link on another thread to the argument oft-made that people in Scotland are put off cycling by 'the weather'. Basically we're wetter and windier and colder than other places. The argument is also made against a 'cafe culture' (which is alive and well in Copenhagen year round - I think it was February or March I went, but people were sitting out all over the place, and trust me, it was absolutely freezing, with hail a couple of times!) So, to Google (comparison is mainly to Copenhagen, but throw up some interesting other comparisons).

    Average rainfall
    Copenhagen - 613mm
    Edinburgh - 668mm
    (noted that Inchkeith, in the FoF, gets 550mm, which is a lower average rainfall than Barcelona).

    Average days per year with rainfall
    Copenhagen - 113 days
    Edinburgh - 191 days
    (so more days with rain, but taking the average amount of precipitation our rain is lighter/lasts less time?)

    Average temperatures
    Copenhagen (average high) - 11.1c
    Edinburgh (average high) - 12.2c
    Copenhagen (average low) - 5.0c
    Edinburgh (average low) - 4.8c
    Copenhagen (overall) - 8.0c
    Edinburgh (overall) - 8.5c

    Average sunshine
    Copenhagen - 1540 hours
    Edinburgh - 1286 hours
    (equivalent to 40 minutes more sunshine a day in Copenhagen)

    So Edinburgh is slightly warmer, slightly wetter (though in shorter and lighter bursts), but gets slightly less sunshine.

    So either the Danes are harder than Scots, or less lazy, or less likely to give in to spurious excuses.

    (had a quick look at Amsterdam as well, and while they are more than a degree warmer on average, they actually get another 100mm of rain more than Edinburgh, and have almost the same number of days with precipitation (just 5 fewer))

    Posted 6 years ago #
  2. Stickman

    Thanks for this WC: that comparison is very revealing.

    I've only been to Copenhagen once but I absolutely loved it, and this was before I started cycling. It's just so civilized. Even down to small things like the outdoor seating having fleece blankets for customers in case it gets a bit chilly.

    On the subject of cycling in extreme weather, (and I may have told this story before):

    A friend and his wife, both mad-keen cyclists, were looking for a place to live when they left the US army, and had done a lot of research into various towns and cities. They had decided on the MidWest and were going to visit a few potential choices. The first place they visited was Madison, Wisconsin in the middle of winter. The sight of swept cycle paths and lots of cyclists out, even in heavy snow, made their minds up and they chose to live there straight away.

    No such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  3. chrisfl

    Someone did mention "The weather" being a reason they didn't commute. But it really has been a handful of days this year where I've actually got wet on my commute.

    Monday morning being an extreme exception, but myself (waterproof jacket) and the two boys(head to toe waterproofs) really enjoyed the cycle on the canal towpath with the rain properly lashing down, and actually the rain had stopped by the time I reached the office.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  4. ARobComp

    I was chatting to some motorbikers in Applecross about this. They agreed that if you are out on a two wheeled machine where you are more exposed to the elements you notice that actually it rains FAR less than people think it does - especially in the east.

    They were highly sceptical about the protection offered by my lycra while decending however. I pointed out that if I was wearing as much body armour as them I'd have to fit an engine to my bike, which they found rather droll.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  5. cb

    Out of interest are there wind stats too WC?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  6. Not that I've managed to find cb - I can find stuff for highest recorded winds and so on, biut not average speeds, or numbers of days with winds over x-mph.

    There was a saying a Danish friend of mine had though - Wind is our Hills. Which would seem to suggest Denmark is somewhat blustery.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  7. AKen

    Other things you notice when you're out on the bike:

    The wind direction - I'm always very aware of this - and of the blessed days when it's still

    Gradients - places that don't appears to be hills when you drive them suddenly become hills when muscle-power is used.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  8. chrisfl

    I was curious - so remembered that the JCMB weather station allows data to be downloaded, I've make a quick analysis for the hour between 8am and 9am. And from this dataset for that one hour period there was precipitation measured on only 45 days in 2014. If I only count the hours where more than 1mm of rainfall was recorded then there are only 10 occurrences in 2014.

    And most journeys across Edinburgh take less than 30 minutes, so if I just look at 08:00 to 08:29, then any rainfall was only measured on 27 days and only passed the 1mm over the 30minute period 4 times.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  9. chdot

    @ chrisfl

    I'll add that info here! -

    Posted 6 years ago #
  10. PS

    So either the Danes are harder than Scots, or less lazy, or less likely to give in to spurious excuses.

    All of the above.

    There is a lot to be said for just being used to doing something. If people continued to cycle from when they were kids right through adolescence to adulthood that wind, hill, rain wouldn't seem so exceptional and they'd be fit enough to deal with it.

    Dressing sensibly/appropriately is something we fail to do in this country as well. It may be due to the weather not being so wintery/bad that we don't invest in decent footwear/coats etc, but the Europeans are so much more practical and prepared in that regard as well. TBH, I'd prefer to sit outside in the fresh air than inside, as long as it's not too windy/raining.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  11. gembo

    Edinburgh much drier and sunnier than Glasgow. Also colder. Wind I do not know? Hills I do.

    Posted 6 years ago #

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