, °F

Personalized Forecasts

Featured Forecast

My Favorite Forecasts

    My Recent Locations

    Jim Andrews

    Share |

    Scotland Wildfires Blacken Hundreds of Acres

    April 2, 2013; 8:05 AM ET

    The pattern that set up Europe's cold March 2013 also dried most of Scotland, setting up numerous wildfires on April 1.

    Heathland fires have burned hundreds of acres in Scotland, following an unusually dry month of March.

    Crews were actively fighting wildfires near Fort William, in the northwest of Scotland, the U.K. Daily Mail website said on Monday.

    Along with heath and grass, the flames have taken some trees, fenceposts and electrical poles.

    A plantation forest was under threat near Banavie, the Daily Mail said.

    Other blazes burned on Eilean Shona, on the Isle of Lewis, and near Poolewe, Wester Ross.

    Preliminary weather data from the U.K. Met Office website showed that March rainfall was only 36 percent of the normal amount in Scotland as a whole. However, some districts in the west and north of Scotland had as little as 19 percent of normal.

    While wildfires are "common," the presence of so many fires on a single day is not, the Daily Mail said.

    During the Easter weekend, almost 100 fires "were tackled across the Highlands and Islands," the U.K. Telegraph website said on Tuesday. Some were thought to have the result of "muirburning," the act of setting range fires to improve pasture for grazing.

    In what may be an ironic twist, the dryness and fires may well be attributed to stubbornly strong arctic high pressure anchored north and northeast of the U.K. since the first half of March. After all, it was this high that set up the near-record cold across the U.K. as well as the unusually severe snowstorm of the 23rd and 24th of the month.

    Being near the high, however, the far north of Scotland gleaned relatively little rain or snow from the dry easterly winds, which displaced the more typical, rain-giving south-westerlies.

    Preliminary Met Office calculations as of late March showed that the month of March 2013 was in the running to be the coldest since 1962 for the U.K. as a whole.

    Thumbnail image credit -- Google Maps

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com


    Comments left here should adhere to the AccuWeather.com Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

    More International Weather Blog

    • Plum Rains to Shift North Next Week

      June 27, 2013; 12:28 PM ET

      The plum rains are known as "meiyu" in China, the "baiyu" or "tsuyu" in Japan, and the "jangma" in the Koreas. The heart of the plum rain season stretches from early June to mid-July, with a tendency to shift south to north across the affected area.

    • Monsoon Rains to Pick Up After a Break

      June 24, 2013; 9:30 AM ET

      In the wake of the mid-June cloudbursts, most of Pakistan to northwestern India last week saw a return to dry, hot weather typical of the weeks leading up to the Monsoon onset. It was as if the Monsoon withdrew to its "normal" position for the latter half of June.

    • Heat Wave Bakes Heart of Europe

      June 19, 2013; 8:24 AM ET

      The 38.5 degree C (101 degrees F) reading Tuesday in Ajaccio, Corsica, may have been tops in Europe.

    • Southwest Monsoon Onset Four Weeks Early

      June 16, 2013; 1:33 PM ET

      Monsoon Onset was June 13th, 2013, in Delhi, almost two weeks earlier than average. The June 15th onset at Karachi and Islamabad was more like three week ahead of schedule.

    • Indian Monsoon Surges West, Lags East

      June 13, 2013; 10:00 AM ET

      In Pakistan, hit-or-miss downpours missed the Sindh capital, Karachi. One did hit Pad Idan, where it left 60 mm of rain Wednesday. This was more than 20 times greater than the normal June rainfall.

    • What Is Happening in the Subcontinent?

      June 10, 2013; 1:09 PM ET

      It is still possible that this scenario is over wrought as to the intensity and spread of rain in Pakistan and northwestern India. However, it is the hunch of the present forecaster that some very unusual weather is going to unfold in the Subcontinent during the next week!