How does this December compare with the past

There has been a lot of interest in whether December 2010 will be the coldest winter in a series that goes back to 1910, making it the coldest December for 100 years.

It is still early in the month, with data for the first 14 days of the month available. What can be said is that it has indeed been notably cold with an average temperature of only minus 0.7 °C for the UK, approximately 5 °C below the long term average.

If it remains as cold in the second half of the month as it has been so far, then it is likely that December 2010 will indeed by the coldest since the national record began in 1910.  However we will have to wait until the month is well and truly over before we can officially state exactly how this December will be measured against the historical record.

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