500 Days of Drizzle: Scotland’s Scintillating Summers

Scotland Weather

If we are to be honest, this summer hasn’t been the best. We have, in fact, just weathered a big pocket of hilariously bad weather that arrived just in time for my run on Saturday.

As someone who actually quite likes a spot of tropical rain, I actually enjoyed it!

However, I know that many of our readers prefer a more traditional summer – blue skies, yellow sun and glowing red barbecues. So I thought it might be fun to look back through the record books and pick out the hottest summers we’ve ever had. Let’s see how many you can remember.


2003: The Big Yin

Who remembers 2003? Nemo’s blue and yellow fins graced the big screen for the first time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer came to a final dramatic conclusion and Lance Armstrong nabbed his fifth Tour de France.

How times have changed.

More importantly, someone in the Scottish borders left the heating on and the temperature skyrocketed to a sweltering 32.8C.

Neither the Scots nor Scotland are built to withstand that temperature. Buildings turned into toasters and we headed to the beach. Then the beach got too warm and we headed for anywhere with air conditioning.

The summer of 2003 recorded the highest temperature on record in Scottish – a record that had stood for close to a century. And if that’s not enough, it was actually the hottest European summer since the middle of the 16th century.


2013: The Long Wan

While 2003 was hot, it came in a concentrated bursts and that made it bearable. A little over a decade later the heat came back and stuck around for a month. July rocked in and started smashing records.

Temperatures were 2C above the Scottish average for the month and only the July of 2006 was warmer on average.

It wasn’t all sunshine though. As July drew to a close the clouds rolled in and torrential rain poured down. It’s good to water the grass, I suppose.


2014: The New Yin

Last year was warm and I mean seriously warm. Perhaps we wanted to put on a show for the Commonwealth athletes in Glasgow. Over the course of recorded climatological history no year has been hotter. The next warmest was 2006 at 8.2C but that pales in comparison to the blistering 8.44C we had in 2014.

Okay, perhaps I’m being slightly overdramatic.

Last year was good though with a long Indian Summer and barbecues that remained lit until late-September.


1908: The Auld Yin

If you’ve got grandparents that were around in the first few years of the 1900s, you’ll likely of heard how summers were so much better when they were young. That’s not nostalgia talking. That’s a cold, hard fact.

At the turn of the century, there was a string of long, dry and pleasant summers that the older generations loved to remind us of. The summer of 1908 saw incredibly warm air blow up and into Scotland, raising the surrounding temperature to a rather toasty 32.8C as it went.

Interestingly, the next year was actually one of the coldest summers since records began. You can’t have good weather all the time, I guess.