IT MAY have ended with thunder, lightning and torrential rain, but soaring temperatures and prolonged sunny periods meant that last month was the second warmest July on record.
New figures have revealed the average temperature was 15.6C – more than 2C warmer than the Scottish average for the month.
Scots also basked in 50 per cent more sun than normal for the time of the year. It was the third sunniest July on record, according to the Met Office.
Helen Chivers, a Met Office forecaster, said: “The mean temperature takes into account all of the daytime highs and all of the night-time lows, so for July that worked as 15.2C for the whole of Scotland, which puts it into second place behind 2006, when the mean temperature was 15.6C.”
The Isle of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides had the sunniest day in the UK as a whole, with 15.9 hours on 20 July. The previous day, temperatures peaked at 30.5C in Glenlee in Dumfries and Galloway, the hottest day in Scotland this year so far. But there was a distinct regional split.
The warmest locations were Glasgow, Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire and parts of Perthshire, averaging between 22C and 24C.
But for those living further north, such as in the Outer Hebrides, north-west Highlands, Shetland and Orkney, the month was not quite as spectacular.
Balmoral, the Queen’s summer residence, saw the coldest temperature, with the mercury plunging one night to just 2.5C.
Ms Chivers said that beyond the record temperatures, the month had been made note-worthy by a lack of good July weather in recent years.
She added: “In itself, the records for last month won’t affect the long-term average – it really just reflects the wonderfully variable weather we have in the UK.
“What is notable is that we have not had a spell of summer weather, or what people would describe as decent summer weather, for a number of years, so that’s why it was noticed – as well as standing out in the record books.”
Despite the fine conditions during the middle of the month, rainfall was close to average with the hot and dry conditions followed by thunderstorms and heavy rain at the end.
Livingston Mill took the brunt of the wet weather, with 60.4mm falling in one day, while Eskdalemuir was the wettest place in Scotland overall, with 134.4mm rainfall during July, 13 per cent above the average.
Ms Chivers said Scotland could still expect to enjoy good weather well into August, although temperatures were unlikely to match July’s.