West Highlands endures one of wettest winters on record

Some long-awaited spring sunshine enveloped the west coast this week after what has proved to be one of the wettest winters on record.

Weather watchers have recorded rainfall close to 100 inches over the last five-and-a-half months, with three inches of rain falling in one 24-hour period in Kintail last week.

Glenys Macmillan, who has been recording the weather at Achnagart since 1967, noted that rainfall levels were getting close to record figures.

In December Achnagart had 26.1 inches of rain, with 16.2 inches in January and a further 19.9 inches in February.

Over the period between 1st October 2013 and March 19th this year, 99.5 inches of rain had fallen in Achnagart. The wettest day of the winter was last Tuesday — three inches (76.1mm) falling between 9am on 18th March and 9am on the 19th.

Over in Plockton — a place which experiences notably less rainfall than Kintail — 27 inches of rain fell between December and February.

Local resident Charlie M MacRae said the December rainfall of 13 inches was a record since he began taking the measurements many years ago. The wettest-ever 24-hour period recorded by the Macmillans in Achnagart was on 14th/15th March 1990, when 3.5 inches (90mm) fell.

March 1990 was the wettest recorded month at Achnagart, with a total rainfall of 35 inches — and overall 1990 was the wettest year since they began their records. In total 174 inches fell that year, while two years later 162 inches were recorded, making 1992 the second-wettest year on record.