Have the summer 2023 school holidays been the worst washout?

Weatherman Sean Batty says it's the second wettest summer holiday since 1990 - narrowly beaten by 2020.

Well it’ll come as no surprise that it’s not been the hottest school holidays we’ve seen – that’s if you’ve stayed at home of course.

While heat records have been broken across the Mediterranean, Scotland has ended up north of the jet stream, which has acted as the dividing line between the heatwave conditions, and the cooler weather.

If the jet stream had decided to drift north during July, some of that heat would have swept across Scotland and possibly pushed temperatures into the low 30s – sorry for rubbing salt in the wound!

Of course this all comes off the back of the sweltering May and June we had when SEPA were starting to warn farmers about their water usage, and then as the school bell rang on the last day of term the jet stream also went on a vacation, and the rain moved in.

While it’s not been the best summer holidays, it’s by far not been the worst. The worst was back in 1922 when the country shivered through its coldest July of the century, funnily enough, this was also following a spring-time swelter.

But if we look more recently, the summer holidays of 2020 were much cooler than this year with afternoon highs averaging out around 16C compared to the 17C this summer. In comparison, the hottest holidays since 1990 were in 2006 with an average afternoon temperature of 21C.

I think the main takeaway from this year’s holidays is the rainfall. It’s been the second wettest summer holiday since 1990, with only 2020 being wetter – just!

The west of the country so far has had about 25 rainy days out of the 35 days the kids have been on holiday, meaning it’s rained on 5 days in every week of the holidays so far – pretty dire.

For those in Fife and Lothians there’s been one or two drier days, but still not great. To put that into a bit of context for you, the east of the country only had about 10 days with rain in the holidays of 2005 and 2006.

Strangely enough, even though this is one of the worst summer holidays for rain in the last 33 years, we didn’t do too bad for sunshine.

The west has had 130 hours, about 4 hours a day on average while the east has had 145 hours. The worst summer for sunshine was 2012 when eastern areas had a paltry 95 hours – just over 3 hours a day.

So if I take into account the rain, sun and temperature, giving a bit more weight to rain as that’s what keeps us in over the school holidays, I’d say this summer definitely ranks somewhere in the top 10 of worst ones for weather since 1990.

But if your kids have been climbing the walls wanting to be entertained during the rainy days, is the sun and heat going to make a glorious return for the end of the holidays? Quick answer, no.

But all is not lost, get your buckets and spades at the ready for a few days next week when it looks like we’ll get a sweeping taste of ‘summer’ with more settled weather Wednesday to Saturday, and if the wind direction is right, Edinburgh could hit 25C.

This will be quite brief with more showery weather returning the following week as the kids get their waterproofs on and trudge back to school for another year…

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in