Dry, hot summers with temperatures around 30C are set to become the norm in Scotland, researchers suggest.

Analysis of UK climate projections by Met Office staff and researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford indicates a substantial increase in the likelihood of Scottish summers being similar to the mid-year heatwave of 2018, between now and 2050.

The country experienced unusually hot conditions that summer, with a near record high of 31.9C recorded at Bishopton in Renfrewshire.

A temperature of 33.2C was measured at Strathclyde Park in Motherwell in June 2018 but this was not accepted as a new record by the Met Office, due to fears the equipment could have been affected by a nearby parked vehicle.

The 32.9C recorded in August 2003, at Greycrook in the Borders, is Scotland's highest ever official temperature.

Unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut substantially, the researchers said it is possible every summer may be as hot as 2018 towards the end of the century.

Human influences had made the heatwave more likely, researchers said, adding that their findings indicate the need to start sustainable long-term planning now to deal with heatwaves in Scotland induced by climate change.

The Edinburgh team interviewed those who dealt with the impact of the 2018 heatwave, which involved special measures such as water being distributed by tanker and railway lines being painted white to prevent them buckling.

Combining this with analysis of media coverage, the team concluded Scotland had been largely able to cope with the hot weather, but with some difficulty.

Many interviewees said successive years of such heatwaves would prove very challenging, particularly given the substantial costs involved in mitigation.

Lead researcher Professor Simon Tett, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, said: "Despite its cool climate, Scotland must start to prepare now for the impact of high-temperature extremes.

"The bottom line is that heatwaves have become more likely because of human-induced climate change."

The study, funded by ClimateXchange, was published online by IOPscience.