I had planned to do the news roundup today because Jeremy was elsewhere, not being able to submit his nature report. He was cycling from London to Paris with on a bike with one gear and succeeded, which is quite an achievement. Because of the heat over here however, it's too hot to spend much time with a laptop on my knees, I changed plans and will instead write about...... the weather! Yesterday evening a friend from Islay sent me a beautiful sunset picture and he mentioned that it's quite warm on Islay and it will become much warmer later in the week. When I checked the weather forecast for Islay I saw that the expected temperature for Tuesday indeed will be around 24Â°C, which is quite high. It also got me thinking about maximum temperature records and I was wondering what the highest recorded max temp on Islay is? I assume it won't be much higher than 24Â°C given the fact that Islay is surrounded by cool(er) water.
Sunset at Loch Gruinart
To get an idea I did some research on the internet and found an interesting page from the Met Office with weather statistics for western Scotland. For obvious comparison reasons I was most interested in the nearest official weather station to Islay which is Tiree but first some general information about the annual highs and lows of the region. The mainland of western Scotland has quite high and low extreme temperatures, e.g. a large temperature range, varying between -24.8 Â°C and 32.9 Â°C while the annual mean temperatures are between 2 Â°C and 19 Â°C. The situation for the Hebridean Isles is quite different. Due to the influence of the gulf stream the temperature range is much smaller. According to the Tiree temperature range the lowest minimum temperature recorded is -7 Â°C and the highest maximum temperature recorded is 27 Â°C while the annual mean temperatures are in the range of 3 Â°C and 17 Â°C. A quote from the Met Office website: Continue reading......
The strong maritime control of temperature is best seen in the annual temperature range, the difference between the mean temperature of the warmest and coldest months. The smaller the temperature range, the greater the maritime influence. In parts of Galloway, Kintyre and the Hebrides the annual temperature range is about 9 Â°C, which is similar to that found in western Ireland; for comparison the annual temperature range increases to about 14 Â°C in the English Midlands as the maritime influence decreases.
July and August are the warmest months in the region with mean daily maxima ranging from less than 14.6 Â°C on the highest ground to more than 18.5 Â°C in southern Dumfries and Galloway and the Clyde valley. These may be compared with 22.5 Â°C in the London area. Instances of extreme high temperatures are rare and are associated with hot air brought from mainland Europe on south easterly winds, accompanied by strong sunshine. The highest temperature ever recorded in the whole of Scotland was 32.9 Â°C at Greycrook (Borders) on 9 August 2003. The previous record of 32.8 Â°C was set almost a century before in Dumfries on 2 July 1908. Other examples of extreme high temperatures that have occurred in the region are 32.2 Â°C at Prestwick and Kilmarnock on 29 July 1948, and 31.7 Â°C at Buchlyvie (west of Stirling) on 12 July 1911.
Now what do we learn from all this? Apart from the fact that the annual mean temperatures on the Scottish mainland have a larger range than those on the Hebrides due to the absence of the maritime influence, it's also interesting to learn that the highest recorded temperature on Tiree was 27 Â°C, which will probably not be much different from the highest recorded maximum temperature on Islay (graph below). This also means that the projected max temp on Tuesday will not break any records. What remains is the following: Is there anybody on Islay who can recall what the highest recorded maximum temperature was on the island? If so please be so kind and send me an email. Thanks!