Sun-worshippers across the Lothians basked in temperatures higher than Harare and Guatemala yesterday as Scotland enjoyed the hottest day yet this year.
As the mercury soared above 21 degrees, people flocked to Portobello beach while parks and beer gardens across the Capital were packed.
The hottest place in the country was Aboyne in the Highlands with a height of 23.5C, making Thursday the warmest day of the year so far.
But weather experts from the Met have warned that the hot weather will be short-lived – with a sharp drop in the temperature coming just in time for the weekend.
Nicola Maxey, a spokeswoman for the Met, said it was expected to be “nice and sunny” until the afternoon today, when cloud will start to build, with temperatures hovering at a slightly cooler 18 or 19 degrees.
However, tomorrow morning will see temperatures plunge to a chilly ten degrees thanks to a front bringing heavy rain across the Lothians. “People are going to notice a big difference. It’s going to be grey and damp and miserable,” Nicola said.
A bar worker from the Espy in Portobello said the last couple of days had been “phenomenal”, with people struggling to find a place on the beach.
He added: “It’s a pity the weather won’t hold up till the weekend when people are off work but that often seems to be the way.”
The Met office said there had been nearly 16 hours of sunshine across the Lothians on Wednesday, when temperatures had reached 22.4C.
The Botanic Garden welcomed almost 5000 people through the gates on Wednesday and yesterday, figures they would usually expect at weekends.
“Everyone is out enjoying the sunshine and our visitor numbers reflect that,” added Director of Enterprise Heather Jackson.
But people weren’t the only ones enjoying the sunshine – though it all proved a bit much for some residents of the Five Sisters Zoo.
Lesley Coupar, of the West-Calder-based attraction, added: “Most of the animals were lying in the shade as it was really hot with no breeze. The ibis are on top of the trees.
“Chad our giant African spurred tortoise was also out enjoying the sunshine, but the wallabies were lying in the shade and the kookaburra has his beak open, panting.”