Is it really that mild?

Over the next few days we’re expecting maximum temperatures of up to 13 deg C in places, with fairly widespread mild temperatures expected in most places both by day and night.

This is in stark contrast to this time last year when temperatures were well below average, with most places struggling to get above freezing during the day.

While there is a big difference from one year to the next, there is nothing unusual about the milder temperatures we’re expecting over the next few days.

Although they are above the UK long-term average maximum temperatures for December of 6.9 deg C, it’s still quite normal to see temperatures several degrees above that.

If we go back just three years to December 2008, we can see temperatures on the 21st of the month getting up to 14.5 deg C in Usk, Monmouthshire. Elsewhere, Edinburgh and Newcastle hit  13 deg C and London got up to 12.8 deg C.

There are many other incidences even in relatively recent years when temperatures have been equal or above those we expect this year – so there is certainly nothing exceptional in the forecast.

To give an idea of how warm it would have to be to break records, the warmest temperature ever recorded in December is 18.3 deg C at Achnashellach, Highland, on 2 December 1948. We’re not expecting temperatures to get anywhere close to this in the next few days.

Even if we focus on Christmas Day, we’re expecting temperatures of 10-12 deg C across the UK which is, again, nothing exceptional. The record for Christmas Day is 15.6 deg C at Killerton in Devon in 1920 and at Leith, Edinburgh in 1896.

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