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Another Cold Wet Summer in Scotland

September 9, 2012

By Paul Homewood


Mean temperature Summer Scotland

Figure 1


The summer just finished has been a rather wet and cool affair in Scotland, following a similar trend to the UK as a whole.




Mean temperature averaged 12.0C, compared to the 30 year average of 12.5C. Since 1910, this year ranks as only the 60th warmest, and the last two years have been the coldest since 1998. Meanwhile, following the warm spell between 2003 and 2006, the trend is clearly back towards cooler summers.

Days of air frost averaged over the country were 0.9, and were the highest on records starting in 1961, with the North being worst affected.

The drop off in temperatures this year is much more marked in maximum temperature, while, in contrast, minimums are pretty much normal. The mean maximum for Scotland was 15.5C, meaning this summer was the 32nd coldest since 1910, and 0.7C colder than the 1981-2010 average, whereas minimums were only 0.2C colder than normal. Figure 2 & 3 show this well.

Summer 2012 Mean daily maximum temp. 1981 - 2010 anomaly

Figure 2



Summer 2012 Mean daily minimum temp. 1981 - 2010 anomaly

Figure 3



Figure 4



Figure 5


Rainfall totals were 391mm and maintained a trend towards wetter summers that effectively began in the mid 1980’s. The ten year averages, depicted in Figure 5, show this trend more clearly and indicate that rainfall over the last decade or so has simply returned to the “normal” levels seen between 1930 and 1965.

Rainfall this summer, although 28% higher than average, was still well down on 1985 and 1948, which recorded 455.6mm and 435.6mm respectively. Figure 6, though, shows that not every part of the country was affected, with the North West actually receiving less rain than usual.


Figure 6


Scottish Government Projections

On its climate change website, the Scottish Government forecasts :-

These projections show the changes that can be expected during the rest of this century. Broadly, Scotland will get warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers  [compared to the 1961-90 baseline].

Have they got any clue?

  1. Sparks permalink
    September 9, 2012 8:15 pm

    Warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers? That would be great! meanwhile back on planet earth intelligent people will be making preparations for more cold winters ahead.

  2. September 15, 2012 4:30 am

    South England shows the same pattern.

  3. March 28, 2013 2:43 pm

    We’ve just put together an infographic about Scotland’s weather over the past 100 years and how it has been changing… Unfortunately we came to the conclusion that Scotland is getting wetter!

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