Page last updated at 17:02 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 18:02 UK

Heather's weather - a summer of two halves

By Heather Reid
Weather forecaster, BBC Scotland

Heather Reid
Heather said the summer started well but became wetter

It all started so well. June was a good month, with above average sunshine and the highest temperatures in Western Scotland for more than 15 years.

Rainfall was below average and when the schools finished for the holidays, temperatures were about 80 degrees fahrenheit (which always sounds hotter than 26.6 celcius).

At last we were being compensated for the recent miserable summer weather.

I flew off to Italy for two weeks, content in the knowledge that Scotland was going to be just as hot as my destination.

My mum informed me by phone that Edinburgh hit 30C during the first week of July - a record July high for the Botanic Gardens site.

Kirkwall in Orkney reached 24C, also a new July high. Excellent.

But the hot weather was followed by a thundery breakdown.

On 2 July 37.2mm of rain fell at Dalwhinnie in just two hours. The next day Glasgow saw 28.2mm and local flooding.

Main deluges

I returned to more rain, and it has hardly stopped raining since.

July was the fifth wettest on record, with double the usual amounts across Eastern Scotland.

August brought even more rain.

This time the main deluges were across the south of Scotland.

On 19 August, Eskdalemuir received a whopping 78mm in 24 hours, making it the wettest August day on record.

Over the whole month Eskdalemuir recorded 393mm, more than 14 inches of rain - another August record.

Glasgow reached 211mm during the month, the wettest for 85 years.

So just how bad has this summer weather really been?

River Nith
Heavy rain led to floods in some parts of the south of Scotland

Don't forget we had a good June, nonetheless, in the West of Scotland the summer of 2009 is the 2nd wettest since 1914.

At the same time, temperatures remained above average, so 2009 is also the 12th warmest.

So at least it was warm rain for some of the time.

Things were even worse in 2007, all three summer months had above average rainfall and temperatures did not reach 80 fahrenheit anywhere.

Last year, many eastern parts of Scotland had their wettest August on record. There was widespread flooding and the summer was also record-breakingly dull.

It's a long time since we've had a good second half of the summer.

1995 was the last one that really stands out in my mind.

Warm sunny days from June until August. Yes we had some thunderstorms, but we also broke temperature records at more than 30 degrees celsius.

Over the past several years we've had our best sunny and warm weather during April, May and June.

Are our seasons changing? Global warming theories point towards higher average temperatures but also imply changes in rainfall patterns and possible increases in summer precipitation.

One things for sure - I'll be booking my Scottish-based holiday for June 2010 and looking out the wet weather gear again by August.

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Wet, warm August sets new records
01 Sep 09 |  Scotland


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