The sun has got its hat on as lockdown begins to lift

Welcome stretch of hot weather may go some way to making up for shelved holiday plans this summer.

And there was you thinking the minute lockdown was starting to ease that the storm clouds would gather, but instead the sunshine keeps on giving…

Thursday was Scotland’s warmest day of the year so far with the mercury hitting a high of 25.7C in Leuchars, Fife. Edinburgh wasn’t far behind with a high of 24.6C and Aboyne hit 24.4C.

While the most intense heat on Thursday was focused on the east of the country, today this shifts further west. I expect some of the highest temperatures today to be around Glasgow, Moray and the north and east Highlands where temperature could end up around 25C by the middle of the afternoon. At this time of year the highest temperature usually occurs somewhere between 3pm and 6pm.

In the southerly air flow, additional warming may occur as air descends from mountains in the north of the country, meaning that places like Aviemore, Aberlour, Elgin, Achnasheen, Altass, Oykel Bridge and Altnaharra could achieve some of the highest temperatures. Here we could reach as high as 28-29C, which is pretty exceptional stuff for May. The last time the temperature exceeded 29C was at the end of August.

If we do reach 28-29C in the north of the country, this will take us fairly close to some of our May records, and in a few spots could break them. For example in Aviemore, the highest May temperature ever recorded here is 28.1C back in 2012. Records there go back 36 years. This is significant enough, but it would be even more so if Kinloss breached its previous record of 28.3C set in 1992 as the records here go back 68 years. While it looks like Moray will be one of the hot spots today, it’s likely that sea breezes could develop and hold the temperature back in coastal areas, making the Kinloss record harder to break than more inland areas.

With summer holiday plans shelved for most of us, this long spell of mainly fine weather during lockdown has been very welcome. I found myself last night playing Gypsy Kings on the stereo as a warm 20 degree breeze blew in the window – honest I could have been on an all-inclusive in the Costa del Sol. While some of us will be splashing in paddling pools today and pretending we’re somewhere exotic, it’s not the same for all parts of the country.

Some haar and low cloud could affect eastern Shetland, the Beauly and Cromarty Firth, as well as the Moray Firth at times which would really hold back the temperature. Shetland today is likely to reach about 13C at best today, and the Aberdeenshire and Angus coast could also see temperatures pegged back in the mid-to-high teens due to onshore breezes.

The fine, warm and sunny weather will last through the weekend and into the start of next week for most parts of the country. A change looks as if it’ll come later next week with more showery and cooler conditions returning.

With just over three weeks until the summer solstice, the sun doesn’t get much stronger than it is just now so make sure you have plenty of suntan lotion with you this weekend. Enjoy!