Skip to content

Scottish Temperature “Record” Rejected By Met Office

July 5, 2018

By Paul Homewood


As I suggested earlier, there was distinctly something very fishy about the Met Office’s original claim that the Scottish temperature record had been broken:



Scotland’s highest ever temperature reading has been rejected by the Met Office over fears it could have been affected by a parked vehicle.

On Thursday 28 June, a temperature of 33.2C degrees was measured at Strathclyde Park in Motherwell.

The Met Office now says a stationary vehicle with its engine running was parked too close to the equipment.

It said that although the measurement was "plausible" it could not rule out the potential for contamination.

It means that last Thursday was not officially the hottest day ever in Scotland.

A temperature of 32.9C recorded in August 2003, at Greycrook in the Borders, remains the highest ever.


Three questions remain:


1) The Met Office is concerned about a parked car, but why do they even consider a car park as a suitable site?

2) While this particular reading has been discounted, what about all of the other 364 days a year at totally unsuitable sites like this one, which go into building up UK mean temperatures?

3) Above all, why was the original claim issued to the media so prematurely, before it had been checked out?

It is one thing correcting it now, but the original spurious claim has already gone around the world and back, and very few people will see the correction.

For instance, the Washington Post uses it as part of its “All-time heat records have been set all over the world during the past week” article this week.

It is quite wrong for the Met Office to publicise allegations such as this, before they have been categorically confirmed.

  1. Chris, Leeds permalink
    July 5, 2018 9:25 pm

    Agreed. Even a number of long-established stations are – it seems to me – not located in ideal locations. St. James’s Park, London, is often the UK’s hottest station, but if you look at Google Earth the thermometer screen is in a VERY sheltered location (with trees and bushes sheltering it from wind), within a city park and right alongside a very big (5 metre plus wide) paved path – only 1 metre away..

  2. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 5, 2018 9:27 pm

    As we know, on the MO’s climate extremes page the notoriously dodgy July 2015 Heathrow record does not even merit a ^ symbol to denote reservation, like some of the older records are given. If any ‘record’ should be struck out it is that one.

  3. Jeff permalink
    July 6, 2018 1:10 am

    It would be very interesting to see a photograph of the weather station in its surrounds.

  4. July 6, 2018 1:17 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  5. Athelstan permalink
    July 6, 2018 5:53 am

    The wet office is full of civil servants driven to advocating the great green scam, reason and measure have been chucked out to the window by the post modernists and record tinkerers, ordered by morons and clowns such as slingit and autobett – what else could you expect?

  6. July 6, 2018 5:57 am

    The Met Office is not fit for purpose. It does not follow its own quality procedures.

  7. Jeff permalink
    July 6, 2018 7:03 am

    Looking at 3 closest surrounding underground weather stations on 28 June maximums,
    it did seem quite hot –

    12 South Lanarkshire, [ISOUTHLA73] 33.2 °C
    13 South Lanarkshire, [ISOUTHLA73] 33.2 °C

    • July 6, 2018 8:12 am

      These are “Personal Weather Stations”, and therefore not quality controlled

      • Jeff permalink
        July 6, 2018 8:20 am

        Yes, that’s what I thought.

  8. Jeff permalink
    July 6, 2018 7:08 am

    Sorry should read

    Wishaw, [IWISHAW4] 32.2 °C
    South Lanarkshire, [ISOUTHLA73] 33.2 °C

  9. Derek Walton permalink
    July 6, 2018 8:18 am

    I’ve asked on the Met Office Blog for someone to put up an image of the station and a better location. I’m in moderation.

  10. Adam permalink
    July 6, 2018 8:31 am

    Finding locations for these sort of monitoring stations is a right pain I have some sympathy

  11. July 6, 2018 9:54 am

    “It is one thing correcting it now, but the original spurious claim has already gone around the world and back, and very few people will see the correction.”

    They know this, that’s why they do it.

    • Athelstan permalink
      July 6, 2018 10:07 am

      well said and precisely.

  12. July 6, 2018 10:59 am

    Rush Limbaugh spoke yesterday of the 1911 New England heat wave which began on July 4. He referenced this article from the New England Historical Society:

    Another article references New York City. Remember, this is before air-conditioning:

  13. Stonyground permalink
    July 6, 2018 11:39 am

    The thing is, it really isn’t that hot is it? I’m old enough to remember hotter weather than this. If temperature records really were getting blitzed all over the northern hemisphere I think it would be a bit more noticeable.

  14. Bloke down the pub permalink
    July 6, 2018 11:42 am

    The Met Office rightly attracts a lot of opprobrium but I would like to commend their staff who take the time and effort to communicate directly with members of the public. I tweeted to Mark McCarthy of the MO who informed me that the stevenson screen is NOT in the car park. My best guess is that the culprit was an ice cream van parked where the punters would be, ie on the grass.

    • Bloke down the pub permalink
      July 7, 2018 10:49 am

      Turns out my guess about the ice cream van was correct, though Mark Mcarthy’s claim that the stevenson screen was not in a car park was disingenuous at least.

  15. Duncan McNeil permalink
    July 6, 2018 11:56 am

    I’ve been along to the park and found the weather station on the roof above the main entrance. How can I get a picture to you?

    • Derek Walton permalink
      July 6, 2018 12:22 pm

      On the roof…?? Flying cars in a holding pattern for Glasgow Airport?

      • Joe Public permalink
        July 6, 2018 12:44 pm

        So it was *even hotter* than the thermometer measured?

      • Jeff permalink
        July 6, 2018 1:39 pm

        I have found that a roof is just about the hottest place to work on a hot day.
        But I’m not saying this weather station is incorrectly located.

    • July 6, 2018 4:56 pm


      I’ll email you

  16. protectllanbedr permalink
    July 6, 2018 11:58 am

    That’s not the only place where there are problems I think.

    I live near Porthmadog, which has been boasting top temps frequently during this warm spell, and occasionally over the last couple of years too. I was in Porthmadog on one of the days when it reported over 30 oC. At mid afternoon it was no more than pleasantly warm in the shade despite no breeze. On many other occasions I have marvelled at the temperatures reported more or less on my doorstep (over 100 oF once I think) given the temperature at my home, some 7 miles away which is also on the coast. On the same day as I was in Porthmadog, the next closest station, at Aberdaron, reported a top temp 10 oC lower.

    According to the Met Office website, an automatic station reports from the Porthmadog Golf Course. If I put the coordinates into Google Maps, I get a location on the opposite side of a road from the club house, but if this was correct it would be at the edge a green and early visible from the road, which it is not.

    A quick wander round did not reveal a weather station, but it did expose me to an interesting microclimate to which acres of closely mowed fairway, baked brown by the sun, clearly contributed. Is there any way of getting the Met Office to reveal exactly where their weather station is? I suspect it may be found in or close to a car park or one of the ubiquitous caravan sites in the area.

  17. July 6, 2018 2:31 pm

    look at the Dirty PR tricks from this POLITICAL LOBBY group
    that has lots of special privileges at tax-payer expense

    Bishop’s bust up ahead of the synod vote
    Team #1 say divest
    Team #2 say if we divest then we’ll lose the ability to influence the oil corps

    They are also talking of divesting from Israel

  18. Will MacFarlane permalink
    July 6, 2018 3:05 pm

    Then I suppose they will not except the temperature reading from my max min electronic weather station in Dunfermline which read 34.2c Last Thursday but its okay for them to use Heathrow where the surrounding tarmac heat holding runways and hot air pollution from constant air traffic is okay?.. Double standards.

  19. Steve Brown permalink
    July 6, 2018 7:35 pm

    Hi Paul, I live locally to the weather station in Motherwell so here are some photos I took today. I have also enclosed a snip of Google maps with the station circled in red. I have also shared them with WUWT
    The Stevenson screen is an 8ft patch of weeds but otherwise surrounded by asphalt which is used to store and move trailers for rowing boats and as you will see

    Not the best place fro a weather station………

    I hereby certify that I took these photos myself in areas open to the public and also hereby give you permission to use them as you see fit.

    Steve Brown

    • Joe Public permalink
      July 6, 2018 10:10 pm

      With the wind in the right direction, “Ice cream van increases measured Global Warming”!

    • Chris Martin permalink
      July 6, 2018 10:46 pm

      Good job! It really looks a dreadful site for observing meaningful air temperatures.

      • Athelstan permalink
        July 7, 2018 6:18 am

        No doubt purposefully chosen – then.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: