BEACHES around the isles were unusually busy as Shetland enjoyed hours of hot sunshine for much of this week, with Tuesday recorded as the warmest day of the year so far.
According to the Met Office, Lerwick recorded a high of 20.8C on Tuesday afternoon, six degrees higher than the July average. The average maximum temperature this month was 15.2C, 1C higher than the 1971-2000 average for July.
Fair Isle also recorded its warmest day of the year to date on Tuesday at 19.4C and forecaster Dave Wheeler said there were only four days on record as being warmer since he began keeping figures in 1974.
The highest temperature Mr Wheeler has been able to ascertain for Shetland was 25.3C in Baltasound in July 1958, with 23.3C in August 1982 the highest record for Lerwick.
He has also discovered an unofficial 27.8C reading from a thermometer at Sumburgh Head lighthouse in August 1910, but he believes that to have been drawn from a thermometer on a north-facing wall of the courthouse which may have been distorted by exposure to the sun.