Tiree is the place to go if you want to top up your tan this month (fig 2). In the first eight days they’ve already got a ton up with 113.2 hours of sunshine, which is a daily average of 14.1 hours, and almost 90% of the maximum possible. Yesterday at Tiree, they cracked the 15 hours of sunshine in a single day mark, and will no doubt do it again today.
Not far behind them are the two sunshine stations in Northern Ireland, followed by Prestwick on the Ayrshire coast (fig 3). I find it amazing how nature always tries to redress the balance in these things, after such a cloudy month in this part of the world last month.
To put it into perspective, the sunshine totals so far this month in Western Scotland are higher than anywhere I can see in the western Mediterranean, with Alicante the only station to have recorded more than 100 hours this month (fig 4). Having said that the potential daily sunshine is higher the further north you go at this time of year, which does help a bit.
***Updated 10th May 2017 ***
Due to the unprecedented numbers that have been looking at this article, I thought that any new readers would like to see if Tiree did actually get 15 hours of sunshine yesterday, not quite they got 13.7 hours, nevertheless there are still currently the sunniest place this month in Western Europe with 126.9 hours of sunshine in just nine days (fig 5), that’s an average of 14.1 hours per day. Sadly today, there are cloudy skies over Tiree, but it was good while it lasted.