Has Scotland peaked too soon with the sunny weather?

With record heat in the last few days, we’re now looking at cooler and showery weather returning.

Us Scots like to joke about how we get all the good weather during the spring and then as the final bell rings in schools across the country to signal the start of the summer holidays, the heavens open. 

Yes, that does tend to be the case, but this time round it seems people think the weather wouldn’t wait for the school holidays and turn once lockdown eased. 

That’s kind of happened, with a peak in the heat in the last few days, but now we’re looking at cooler and showery weather returning, but come on, let’s stay upbeat, it’s going to be a great summer… Well I hope.

But what a spring it’s been. April ended up being our third driest on record and for many eastern parts of the country, spring as a whole, was extremely dry with less than half the rainfall we’d normally expect for the season. 

It was the exceptional dryness of April that really skewed the figures with less than 20% of the rainfall for the month falling in north Aberdeenshire, Fife, Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Borders. 

Now, before I get too carried away about how dry it’s been during spring, there’s been an exception, with Lewis, Harris and North Uist having slightly more rainfall than normal – mainly down to a wet March. I should also mention that while it’s been good for most of us, farmers and gardeners may have struggled a little with the lack of rainfall.

Another part of the ‘how good was the spring’ equation of course is temperature, and no surprise this was higher than normal. March was a little warmer than normal, but it was April and May that really bolstered it. 

Daytime temperatures were around three degrees above normal across Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway and we ended May with some exceptional warmth and a high of 28.3C at Cromdale in the Highlands which made Scotland the warmest part of the UK so far this year, a title we might be able to hold for a few weeks.

The last part is sunshine, and this was off the scale! It was the sunniest spring on record for Scotland with over 600 hours recorded in eastern Fife, the Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway coast and also southern Kintyre. 

This averages out at around six and half hours of sunshine a day throughout the season. The sunniest day was in Orkney with 16.5 hours recorded on the last day of May.

As I write, I’m flicking between this and the rainfall radar as heavy rain moves in, really hoping we’ve not peaked too soon again…