19 July 2022

Scotland could see record temperatures as UK swelters in heatwave

19 July 2022

Temperatures could hit record highs in Scotland on Tuesday as the country looks set to continue sweltering in a heatwave.

The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning – for extreme heat in eastern, southern and central parts of Scotland – which is in force until midnight on Wednesday.

Ahead of soaring temperatures, which weather experts believe could pass the August 2003 record of 32.9C at Greycrook in the Scottish Borders, Holyrood minister Keith Brown urged people “to think about whether they need to travel and, if they do, make sure they’re properly equipped and plan their journey in advance”.

People enjoy a barbecue in a river near the village of Luss in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, on the west bank of Loch Lomond (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

On Monday, the mercury rose to 31.3C in Aboyne in Aberdeenshire and Leuchars in Fife, the Met Office said.

Meanwhile, the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh recorded 30.8C and temperatures peaked at 29.9C in Aviemore.

South of the border, the Met Office issued the UK’s first red extreme heat warning for a large part of England, covering Monday and Tuesday.

While it is set to be cooler than the 42C the Met Office said is possible in eastern England, Scotland is forecast scorching temperatures.

People jump from a pier into the water of Loch Lomond (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Edinburgh is predicted to reach 31C, while Glasgow will see the mercury rise to around 28C.

But in Aboyne, thermometers could reach 32C, and in Coldstream, in the Scottish Borders, the mercury could soar to 34C.

The rising temperatures brought disruption to parts of Scotland’s transport system on Monday, with overhead wires tripping and resetting due to the heat between Glasgow Queen Street Low Level and Hyndland.

Mr Brown, Justice Secretary and lead minister for resilience at Holyrood, said the Scottish Government is “receiving regular updates from partners including Transport Scotland, the Met Office, the NHS and emergency services and we’ll continue to closely monitor developments”.

“When temperatures increase, it’s important to monitor forecasts and follow public health advice, including staying hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding excess alcohol,” he said.

“People should also look out for vulnerable family, friends and neighbours, as older people, those with underlying conditions and those living alone may struggle to keep cool and hydrated.”

Scottish Water has asked people to be as efficient with their water as possible, and urged them to use watering cans rather than hoses in gardens, not to fill up paddling pools and to take shorter showers.

The request came after the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency issued a water scarcity warning on Sunday.

It said in the east of Scotland, areas such as the Dee, Firth of Forth, Almond and Tyne catchment areas have been raised to moderate scarcity, which means businesses that extract water from the areas should do so only “if absolutely necessary”.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has warned that the wildfire risk in southern and eastern parts of Scotland has risen to “very high”.

It said that, in prolonged periods of high temperatures, the risk of wildfires breaking out increases.

SFRS Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Bruce Farquharson said: “At this time of year, the ground vegetation is a combination of green growth, with a relatively high moisture content, and dead vegetation lying on top, which can easily ignite and spread quickly over a large area.”

He added: “During the next few days, I would urge the public to avoid lighting fires outdoors but, if you must, check for restrictions or permissions required by the landowner and make sure you use a fire safe pit or container that can be properly extinguished before you leave.

“We need people to be aware of how quickly things can get out of hand – the smallest outdoor ignition can spread rapidly and burn for days. Therefore, we are asking people to act responsibly when enjoying the outdoors and please think twice before using anything involving a naked flame.”

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