Britain may enjoy the warmest New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day ever recorded, with some parts of the country expected to reach temperatures of Madrid or the French Riviera in the next days. Highs of 16C (61F) are possible.
At midnight, those ringing in 2017 will be greeted by temperatures of 9C (48F), 14C (57F) all across the UK. These are well above the 7.6C (45.7F) average December daytime temperature in England and Wales.
Thanks to warm air coming up from Azores, favourable positions in the jet stream, and low pressure systems to the west of Ireland, the UK has been enjoying springlike temperatures since the beginning of 2021.
Today’s mild air will be moving in and will last until New Year’s Day. It will bring very warm temperatures that will rival 15C (59F in Nice) and Madrid, before returning to frosty conditions next week.
Higher temperatures of up to 14C (57F), are possible in England and Wales. They can even be reached as far as Newcastle. The mild spell will be grey, though much of the country is likely to see cloudy skies and occasional drizzle.
Yesterday’s temperatures reached 15.7C (63F) in Exeter. This was the warmest December day so far and the mildest in six weeks. It also marked the end of November 19, when Dyce, Aberdeenshire, recorded 16.8C (62.2F).
As the UK has warm temperatures this time of the year, sunrise at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland
Pictured: A group of photographers gather at Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland before dawn earlier in the morning
The unusually warm temperatures should last until New Year’s Day. Pictured: This morning’s sunrise at Bamburgh Castle
Richard Miles, Met Office spokesperson said that the mild temperatures would last through New Year’s Day. The warm Atlantic air is causing it, although it isn’t very common.
However, he said that mild air will be brought northwards by a low pressure system. Miles explained that colder air will flow behind the system, which will bring temperatures closer to average for this time of the year.
Colwyn Bay (north Wales) was home to the record temperature for New Year’s Eve 2011, at 14.8C (58.6F).
Temperatures on Saturday may be as high or lower than the New Year’s Day Record of 15.6C (60F), which was set in Bude in Cornwall in 1916.
For England, the December record is 17.7C (63.9F) in 1985. In comparison for the UK in general it was 18.7C (65.8F) for 2019 in Scotland.
On Monday and Tuesday however, it could bring’some wintry showers to high ground’, such as the North Pennines, and even rain elsewhere.
But the change is also predicted to finally clear some of the cloud, bringing a chance of sunshine – which has been in short supply.
Daytime temperatures will likely take a dramatic plunge – falling to single figures by Tuesday, with highs of 8C (46F) in southern England and just 5C (41F) in the North East.
In the north, overnight frosts can also be possible. The first half of January will see unsettling conditions.
Met Office’s longer-range forecast stated that “Moving past the midweek period. Changeable conditions with westerly winds are likely spread across the UK.
“Spells that rain are accompanied by warmer air and showers, with near-average temperatures in between,”
In Alaska, however, record-breaking December temperatures have been recorded at 19.4C (67F), which is a temperature that’s not usually associated with thick snow and bitter cold.
According to Rick Thoman of the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy such extreme temperatures are ‘absurd.