Edinburgh hotter than Istanbul

Sunbathers in the Capital will enjoy temperatures hotter than Istanbul today.

Across the city, crowds have been heading for parks and beaches to soak up the sun, with the mercury hitting 22C. Temperatures are also set to stay high over the weekend.

Yesterday was the hottest in Scotland since 2009, and the baking 27.3C recorded in Altnaharra, Sutherland, was a May high, only beaten by the record-breaking 29C seen in Edinburgh in 1992.

People weren’t the only sun-seekers in the Capital yesterday. At Edinburgh Zoo, Yabbra the koala has ventured outside, although it was a couple of days too late to impress fellow Australian Nicole Kidman, after the actress dropped by while filming in the Capital. Usually, Scottish weather is too cold for the animals to go outside.

Penguins at the attraction also had to be hosed down with cold water.

According to the Met Office, today’s temperature is again set to hit 22C, while the heat in Istanbul looks unlikely to rise above 20C.

Forecasters said tomorrow will be a warm and sunny day, with temperatures nudging 25C. On Saturday, temperatures will be 20-23C.

It is expected that the hot, sunny conditions could last up to ten days.

The need for people to cool down has been a boon for many businesses in the Capital.

Michael Laing, who works at Luca’s ice cream parlour in Morningside, said: “The past two days have been the busiest we’ve had in a long time. It’s just been crazy, we’ve had constant queues out of the door.”

Steven McLaren, assistant manager of the Pear Tree in West Nicolson Street, said: “When the office workers finish up at about 4pm, it’s going to be heaving. On sunny days like these, there’s not a single seat left in our beer garden.”

Portobello beach has also proved a popular spot. Steven Strachan, manager of the Espy on the Promenade, said: “There are a lot more people in bathing costumes and I have just seen a jet ski go past the window.”

The iPhone weather app had predicted temperatures of more than 30C in the city.

An employee of the card and gift shop Paper Tiger tweeted: “iPhone weather forecast for the weekend looks a little . . . optimistic? Fingers crossed!”

Emergency services issued a warning for people to take precautions.

Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service warned people to take extra care to avoiding starting a fire when having a barbecue or by carelessly discarding a cigarette.

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service added: “We would advise people to ensure that they drink water regularly, stay in the shade and be aware of any symptoms.”

Organisers of Sunday’s Edinburgh Marathon have told runners they must remain hydrated. Around 167,500 plastic bottles of water are being handed out every 5km along the route and supplements are being given to every runner at the end.