The weather was generally cool and unsettled during the first three weeks, with some strong winds at times. There was then a mostly dry, sunny and very warm interlude with some unusually high temperatures, particularly across Highland Scotland. Conditions turned cooler and unsettled again at month-end.
The mean temperature equalled the 1971–2000 average, the very warm spell towards the end of the month offsetting the earlier cool conditions. Rainfall was above normal in Shetland and much of north-west and south-east Scotland, with about 150% of average in the Lothians, the eastern Borders and parts of North-west Highland. Elsewhere, amounts were close to or somewhat below normal, being about 75% of normal in Aberdeenshire and the Western Isles. Sunshine amounts were above normal, especially over Northern Scotland where, provisionally, it was the third sunniest May in the series from 1929.
- 1st to 6th:
- The 1st was generally dry with sunny spells, although rain reached extreme south-western areas during the afternoon and spread up the west coast overnight before dying out. The 2nd and 3rd were dry, sunny but cool although low cloud took time to burn off near eastern coasts. A band of rain spread southwards overnight leaving a bright day on 4th with light, scattered showers and the showery theme continued on 5th and 6th with the heaviest and most frequent showers being in the north and east.
- 7th to 18th:
- The 7th started bright but cloud and rain spread from the south-west to reach all areas by the end of the day. This cleared northwards overnight to leave drier, brighter days on 8th and 9th with only a few light and scattered showers. The 10th saw rain spreading from the south to all areas and it was very cool with maxima typically around 7 to 9 °C. It remained wet and cool for most areas on 11th. The 12th saw an improvement with bright spells and only scattered showers for western areas. However 13th was a stormy day with strong winds and heavy rain spreading in from the north-west. There were large rainfall totals, mainly in the north where Kinlochewe (Highland) recorded 101 mm, and a gust of 67 mph was recorded at Blackford Hill (Edinburgh). The 14th saw the winds ease slightly although there were frequent showers in a cool northerly wind with thunder in Fife. A cool north-westerly wind brought further showers on 15th and 16th, these dying out later in the day. The 17th saw rain and cold easterly winds, with maxima typically around 7 to 9 °C. There was a slow improvement on 18th as the rain moved slowly eastwards.
- 19th to 28th:
- The 19th was a drier and brighter day with only a few scattered showers in the east, and the gradual improvement continued on 20th and 21st with plenty of sunshine. The 22nd was dry, sunny and warm and 23rd was warmer still with temperatures rising close to 27 °C across parts of the Highlands and to 28.4 °C at Cromdale (Highland). The hot conditions triggered some scattered heavy showers for central areas, with Livingston (West Lothian) having a thunderstorm and 36 mm of rainfall. The period 24th to 28th remained very warm and sunny with temperatures reaching the mid to high 20s, although eastern coastal areas saw mist and low cloud during some mornings. The Scottish temperature record for May was broken on 25th when Achnagart (Highland) recorded 29.3 °C. Other high values included 27.3 °C at Bishopton (Glasgow) on 24th, 28.1 °C at Kinlochewe on 26th, 29.0 °C at Cromdale (Highland) on 27th and 26.6 °C at Aberfeldy (Perth and Kinross) on 28th.
- 29th to 31st:
- The 29th and 30th were cloudy and some heavy showers broke out in the Borders during the late afternoon with Floors Castle (Borders) recording 19.3 mm on 30th. The 31st saw a band of rain spread from the west which cleared during the afternoon to leave showers for eastern areas.