Summer solstice set to bring long-awaited heat spell for Scotland

It's to be a warmer, sunnier start to the summer with temperatures predicted to hit the mid-20s in some spots - but it's not to last.

Today is officially the start of summer as it’s the summer solstice – the day with the most amount of daylight.

In Unst in the far north of Shetland the sun will be up a whopping 19 hours and ten minutes, with the sun setting at 10.40pm. Even after sunset, the sky will stay relatively light with the sun just a little below the horizon until 3.30am then it will start to rise again.

Further south in Glasgow we don’t get quite as much daylight as Shetland, but it’s still pretty incredible with just over 17 and a half hours with the sun up today. The sunset here is just after 10pm and rises again at 4.30am tomorrow.

Stornoway in the Western Isles also gets a very late sunset given its westerly location and therefore one of the last places the sun sets each day. Here it’s around 10.35pm.

After a disappointing start to June, it looks like warmer weather is about to arrive just in time for the first days of summer, although it may not last overly long.

Temperatures over the coming days may hit 20C in inland parts of Easter Ross, Moray, Aberdeenshire, Angus and the Lothians.

It’s next week when the warmest conditions arrive and this could see temperatures hit the mid-20s in some spots, which I reckon is most likely around Stirlingshire, Lanarkshire and the Glasgow area.

Summer heatwave?

Wind turbines at sunset.iStock

While it would be lovely to tell you this will last all the way through the school holidays, it won’t, and may not even last into next weekend never mind into July.

The definition of a heatwave in Scotland requires three consecutive days where temperatures are 25C or above – so there’s no certainty.

Even though there’s good agreement across our computer models of a major heat up next week, there’s also decent agreement that low pressure will come in from the Atlantic by the end of next week with rain and temperatures back into the teens.

Don’t worry though, the dog days of summer (the hottest spell) do not normally come until later in July and August, but I’ll also caveat that with July and August traditionally being wetter than May and June.

I’d also say today is the first peak day of the grass pollen season, with very high levels now starting to build up in the south.

Levels will remain elevated on fine days for the coming four to five weeks until the grass flowering season starts to slow. That means anyone with asthma who also suffers from hay fever should make sure they keep their inhaler handy in the coming weeks.

So if you’re full of the joys of summer, there’s plenty to look forward to as your season has just begun. But if you’re like me and prefer the winter, the solstice also means the nights start to get a little longer – admittedly by just a few seconds in the next few nights.

But still, give it ten weeks and you can get your pumpkin spice candles back out!

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