Sandy's Garden ... One of the Hottest Summers in Scotland

Ailsa said to me: “That’s quite something. Here we are – you in your shirtsleeves, me in a blouse, with the car windows wide open – and it’s September”.

Sunday, 26th September 2021, 10:09 am

And it wasn’t even sunny – bright, yes, but with something in the order of eight-tenths cloud cover overhead, with a solid bank of heavier cloud visible over the Ochil Hills.

The car’s thermometer claimed the ambient temperature was 22°C, although the Met Office figure for Polmonthill Ski Slope at 4pm was a mere 20°C.

It felt like a rather warm 20 degrees as I sat in the garden after we reached home.

Falkirk Herald gardening guru Sandy Simpson

This experience sent me to a Met Office website, where I was not surprised to find, under the headline, “One of the hottest summers in Scotland and N. Ireland” that, relative to average, Scotland and Northern Ireland have seen the mildest, driest and sunniest conditions during summer 2021.

Northern Ireland, I learn, has just enjoyed its third hottest summer on record, and Scotland is coming towards the end of its fourth hottest summer since records began.

You have to go back through the records to 1884 – 137 years – to find a hotter summer in Glasgow.

The Met Office quotes Dr Mark McCarthy, the science manager of the National Climate Information Centre, saying: “Summer 2021 will be remembered very differently depending on where you are in the UK, with record-breaking warm conditions in parts of western Scotland and Northern Ireland, while in the south and east it’s been much duller and wetter.”

We had an average temperature of between 1.0°C and 1.5°C higher than we’d expect, with between 105 per cent and 115 per cent more hours of sunshine than an average summer, with between 10 per cent and 30 per cent less rain than we might expect and with more sunny days and fewer rainy days than we’d have in an average summer, 2021 was pretty good for us.

And if you’re thinking it wasn’t all that great – let me assure you that this only shows how fickle and untrustworthy our memories can be.

The statistics prove that, although we here in east central Scotland fared just a little less well in August than we had done in June and July, it has been a very good summer overall.

And what’s the weather going to do now?

I have a vested interest in this, as we are hoping to enjoy a few days holiday soon.

Well, the Met Office forecasters think the weather will probably turn warmer with a chance of showers. There will be an increased chance of spells of rain moving across the country.

For the end of this month and the first week in October, the most likely scenario is that conditions will remain unsettled with perhaps more settled conditions in the south.

Temperatures are likely to remain above average everywhere.

However, the Met Office cautions that long range forecasts only provide an indication of how the weather might change, or be different from normal. Small events over the Atlantic can have big impacts on our weather.

The best forecast is wait and see.