Shetland has enjoyed its sunniest June since records began, with more than 240 hours of sunshine. This tops the previous record of 236 hours set 50 years ago in 1959.
Met office man Paul Hargreaves of the Lerwick Observatory said: “It is quite rare to get so many days of sun without the fog rolling in, and it’s unusual to get warm temperatures overnight.
“It has been dry since the 21st and started getting warm on Thursday, when the overnight temperature was 14C. Three years ago the highest temperature for the entire summer was 14C and that was in September.”
But, said Mr Hargreaves, who checks the shade temperatures on electrical resistance thermometers, this summer cannot claim to have the top June temperature. The maximum temperature at the observatory was 21.7C on Monday, leaving the record of 23.3C set in June 1958 still standing.
The glorious weather has brought people out of doors in unprecedented numbers, and combined with the Johnsmas Foy festivities has meant a busy period for Lerwick shops.
Sales of cold refreshments have soared and sunscreen has been disappearing from the shelves.
Ian Cunynghame of Esplanade shop D & G Leslie said: “We’ve sold more ice creams, lollies and soft drinks [this weekend] than any other weekend, but we’d never run out because we can always get more from the wholesaler and have it here in 15 minutes. Soft scoop ice cream from the machine has been the best seller.”
By contrast, sun preparations are thin on the ground with chemist shops having gaps in their displays. Manager of Boots Chemists Eleanor Eunson said sales of sun products had been “superb”. The shop had almost run out, she said, but new products were coming in daily and sunglasses had sold well too.
Manager of Freefield Pharmacy Martin Fisher said: “The shop pretty much sold out [of sunscreen], but we are getting more in. And we’ve sold a depressing amount of sunburn cream.”
He recommended using a factor of 15 or above and warned that weather conditions can be deceptive. “People think if there’s a cool breeze they’re not burning.”
Three cases of minor sunburn were treated at the Gilbert Bain Hospital’s accident and emergency department.