Scotland’s weather: Country ‘warmer than Barcelona’

People enjoy summer weather in  Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow.
People enjoy summer weather in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow.
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SCOTS are sizzling in the sun as the hottest day of the year sweeps most of the country.

The Met Office is predicting the mercury will rise to around 25C in some areas today, particularly the West Coast and Highlands and islands.

And in London, at St James’ Park, it hit 27.1C, making it the hottest place in the UK this year.

Bookmakers have now slashed prices on bets that 2016 will be hottest year on record.

Aviemore, which is overlooked by the Cairngorms, where skiers are still enjoying Alpine conditions in the mountains, basked in temperatures of 23-25C.

Stranraer was also hitting a peak of around 24/25C, according to the Met Office.

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However, some parts of the country were not enjoying similar conditions.

Aberdeen was around 17C, while Edinburgh was 18C - which was still slightly over the average for early May.

Met Office forecaster Emma Sharpeles predicted that much of the country will continue to enjoy early summer conditions - beating the likes of Barcelona, Costa del Sol, Madrid, Malta and Rome.

She said: “There is currently a Continental air mass over the UK, which is bringing warm weather from the south, from continent.

“We had a period where the weather was coming from the cool north, but that has changed and is now coming from warmer areas.

“Unfortunately, some parts on the country on the east are a little bit cooler because of a sea breeze. There are also areas getting patchy fog, but that should clear up.”

Scots should take advantage of the warm weather over the next few days, as it is likely to change for the weekend.

Emma Sharpeles added: “We should get very similar conditions continuing into Tuesday and Wednesday, although it may get a bit colder in Dumfries and the Borders on Wednesday.

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“It should be warm and hot for most of Scotland until Thursday, when there will be a change in the weather.

“The wind will change and return to coming from the north, which will make Friday and the weekend cooler and more cloudy. Temperatures will return to about 13-14C.

Bookmaker Coral is offering even money that 2016 is the hottest year on record in the UK after the firm saw a sustained gamble over the last 48 hours leading them to slash the odds from 3-1.

It is also offering just 2-1 that the record high of 32.8C (91F) is broken in May, while it is 6-4 for 30C (86F) to be recorded this month

Spokesman John Hill said: “Punters are convinced we are set for the hottest year on record in the UK as we’ve seen a sustained gamble in the betting over the last few days.

“We may not have to wait long for 30C or higher to be recorded in 2016 as the odds suggest it is likely to arrive this month.”

Ladbrokes also said bets had been pouring in and it has been offering 2/1 for the mercury to reach 30C or higher before the weekend is out.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “It’s getting hotter by the day and punters are convinced the sunshine’s here to stay all summer.”

Pollution levels are expected to peak on Sunday, with high levels possible locally and widespread moderate air pollution.

Those heading outdoors to enjoy the fine weather are also warned to be aware that UV levels will be high.

From Monday temperatures in Wales may be around 17-23C (62-73F), around 18-19C (64-66F) in Northern Ireland and easterly breezes in areas like Aberdeen will bring 15-16C(59-61F) temperatures to parts of Scotland.

As the week progresses, temperatures are still likely to be mild, but will fall day on day.